2018 Chrysler Pacifica HybridEnlarge Photo
The industry trade journal WardsAuto has been giving out "Best Engine" awards for 24 years now, and this year's list includes some interesting choices.
For starters, there are no engines from German manufacturers on the list: The sole luxury recipients this year are Infiniti and Jaguar.
But more importantly, and for the first time ever, four of the winners are electrified—and two aren't engines at all.
For 2018, Wards declared two hybrid powertrains worthy of its accolades.
The reworked 2.5-liter Atkinson Cycle inline-4 engine and hybrid system in the Toyota Camry impressed the judges, making this Toyota's 13th appearance on the list.
"Toyota has choreographed the interaction between the Camry’s all-new new 2.5L gasoline 4-cyl. and electric motor into an elegant, seamless, high-tech ballet," wrote Wards.
2018 Toyota Camry HybridEnlarge Photo
The second hybrid trophy went to a returning champ.
Chrysler hasn't put much effort into bringing hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles to market, but it seems judges were smitten enough with the Pacifica Hybrid's 3.6-liter V-6 PHEV powertrain that Wards gave it a Top 10 award for the second year in a row.
Wards lauded the Chrysler for its "33 miles (53 km) of full-electric range and levels of fuel efficiency unimaginable just a few short years ago," and judges "were able to post nearly 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km) on the trip odometer in mixed daily driving that usually exceeded battery range."
In addition to the hybrids, Wards praised two powertrains that removed gasoline from the equation completely.
The 150-kilowatt (200-horsepower) electric propulsion system made the Bolt EV the only full electric vehicle to make the list, with Wards calling it "an affordable, world-changing vehicle that delivers on the promise of electric mobility for the masses."
The other winner was the Honda Clarity's 130-kw fuel cell electric propulsion system, which Wards mentioned has a range of "366 miles (589 km) without stopping, the longest range of any zero-emissions vehicle."
2018 Chevrolet Bolt EVEnlarge Photo
Last year's list had made history for a type of engine wasn't represented: For the first time ever, there was not a V-8 in the top 10 list for 2017.
However, this year saw the return of an 8-cylinder in the Ford Mustang's new 5.0-liter, easily the engine with the greatest displacement on the list.
Other winners this year include the Ford F-150's 2.7-liter twin turbo DOHC V-6, the Honda Civic Type-R's 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC VTEC I-4, the Infiniti Q50's 3.0-liter turbocharged DOHC V-6, the Jaguar XE's 2.0-liter turbocharged DOHC I-4, and the Kia Stinger's 3.3-liter turbocharged DOHC V-6.