10 Greatest Car Engines Currently In Production

We often speak volumes about how great the classic engines were and talk about the cars that carried them with reverence. And yes, the greats of the past do deserve our respect considering what they managed to achieve at the time, with limited resources and technology that we can only call archaic today.


Updated April 2023: Automotive engines are what makes or breaks a car and the ones on this list are among the best in the business. Some of them are being discontinued in 2023, but they’re going out with a bang – especially in the case of Dodge and their new 1,025-hp Challenger Demon 170. So, let’s enjoy these engines while we can and relish the amazing feelings and emotions that only high-powered internal combustion engines bring. Maybe by the time this list updates again, a few of the engines will be gone forever.

But what about the greatest engines of today? The leaps and bounds that the mills of today have made are astounding, so much so that many of these engines and cars might just turn into the classics of the future. Especially if there comes a time when the automobile industry turns almost exclusively EV and gasoline/diesel engines turn into relics. We never know what the future may hold, but we do know the value of a good thing when we see it today.

So here are 10 of today’s greatest engines found in performance cars, which may turn into tomorrow’s cult classics. EVs, please step aside.

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10 Ford Supercharged 5.2-Liter V8: A Predator

Ford Supercharged 5.2-liter V8 Engine
Via: YouTube

Why did we call the engine that goes into the most expensive Mustang’s bay a predator? Because that’s what its name is. This is Ford’s supercharged 5.2-liter V8 that makes a massive 760 horsepower for the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, making it the most powerful Mustang to date. The engine is also mated to a dual-clutch transmission – the first for a Mustang model.

While it shares its block and displacement with the engine from the last GT350, the Voodoo V8, everything else is just bigger, better, and way brasher. Think of this as a road-hugging rocket ship, sure to go down as a future classic. Shelby also offers a King of the Road upgrade option, which ups power to over 900 hp – creating an even bigger beast.

9 Ram High Output Turbocharged 6.7-Liter Inline-Six

Ram High Output Turbocharged 6.7-Liter Diesel Engine
Via: Pinterest

Surprised to see an inline-six in an article about great engines? Well, the Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six diesel engine in Ram trucks is a big surprise in a smaller package. But even smaller displacements can jet out plenty of power. In its High Output version, this engine Ram can make 1,000 lb-ft torque and 400 horsepower.

Plus, it’s quiet, smooth, and very fuel-efficient with a new valve train, stronger pistons, and dampened vibrations. Clearly, a classic in the making with a turbo-boost pressure of 33.0 psi.

Related: 15 Cars With The Biggest Engines Ever Made

8 Mazda SKYACTIV-G 2.0-Liter Inline-Four

Mazda SKYACTIV-G 2.0-Liter Engine
Via: Mazda

This is the secret to the Mazda MX-5’s unmitigated success. An inline-four engine that has been its mill from the start only now comes in a 2.0-liter displacement with more changes.

The weight of its pistons was reduced by 27 grams, which sounds like a minuscule difference, but each little change adds spunk to the engine, which is why now it makes 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. For a small roadster, its plenty of difference.

7 Ford High-Output 3.5-Liter Twin-Turbo V6

Ford High Output 3.5-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Engine
Via: YouTube

The Ford High-Output 3.5-liter V6 has a lot of power with 510 lb-ft of torque and comes twin-turbocharged for maximum effect. This marks a move away from the traditional V8s that Ford trucks have carried, and with 450 horsepower in the F-150 Raptor, you will not miss the two cylinders – especially with the trombone Baja exhaust mode engaged.

The crankshaft and the bearings are all beefed-up, while the valvetrain is lighter to produce more power with less engine weight. Despite the beefy size of the F-150, this engine lets it fly from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds. Not at all bad for a big, family-orientated pickup truck with off-road tires.

Related: 10 Greatest Engines Ever Put In A Pickup Truck

6 Volkswagen Auto Group Twin-Turbo 4.0-Liter V8

Volkswagen's Twin-Turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 In Lamborghini Urus
Via: YouTube

This one engine is the heart of many a car from the VW Group – including Audis, Porsches, and Bentleys. In the Lamborghini Urus, for example, this engine makes a whopping 640 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, enough to take the 5,300-pound SUV 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds. That’s up there with some of the fastest super SUVs on the market!

With an aluminum build and twin turbos mounted in between cylinder banks, this 4.0-liter V8 growls like something much bigger under the Urus’ hood. Despite the smaller displacement, this engine is thumpy and quite the future classic.

5 Chevrolet 6.2-Liter V8

490-Horsepower Chevrolet Corvette' 6.2-Liter V8 Powerplant
Via: Twitter

This is the engine from the coolest Corvette to date, a mid-engined wonder that’s going to go places when its better-powered avatars arrive. A 6.2-liter V8 in this beautiful C8 makes 490 horsepower. Add in the Z51 package and this ‘Vette can go 0-60 mph in a flat 2.8 seconds – thanks to the extra 5 hp.

Frankly, the more expensive C7 Z06 ‘Vette that makes 650 horsepower cannot beat this time, so this engine has to go down in the annals of history as one of the greats of the 2020s. That said, the C8 Z06, with a 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank V8, is near astronomical in its power output and sheer sound.

Related: Here’s The Lowdown On The Next Performance Vette: The 2023 C8 Corvette Z06

4 Dodge Supercharged 6.2-Liter V8

Dodge Supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 Engine
Via: YouTube

Now technically speaking, the Dodge 6.2-liter V8, supercharged and all, is as old school as you can get. The engine has a big displacement, but it’s all iron. It even comes with pushrods and an old-school supercharger – the same recipe as the HEMI engines from the 1950s and 1960s. Then again, why change something that works so brilliantly?

It makes 707 horses in the Hellcat and 797 in the Hellcat Red Eye Challengers and has 650 lb-ft of torque – with an engine howl that could wake up the dead, figuratively. And yet it totally works, with that 2.7-liter supercharger and an additional fuel pump, and a very beefy rotating assembly. For the final of the ‘Last Call’ models, Dodge upped the ante and made the same engine produce 1,025 hp and 811 lb-ft of torque, completing the 0-60 mph sprint in just 1.66 seconds. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the American muscle car. Can you?

3 Ferrari Twin-Turbocharged 3.9-Liter V8

Ferrari Twin-Turbocharged V8 Engine
Via: YouTube

What do the Ferrari Roma, F8 Tributo, Portofino, SF90 Stradale, and the three Maserati Trofeo models have in common? The answer is the 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8, which has upped to a 4.0-liter V8 in the Stradale because of a 1.5 mm bore increase. The SF90 also gets electric assistance to push power to 1,000 hp.

In 2019, this engine was making 710 horses and 568 lb-ft of torque. Things like flywheels, crankshafts, and titanium connecting rods kept changing, and so did the power. Clearly, this is one evolving power mill worth a spot in the engine Hall of Fame. While it did its job in the current Ferrari V8 models, it seems like the new hybridized twin-turbo V6 in the 296 GTB is set to be the new standard powerplant.

Related: 10 Things You Never Knew About Ferrari And Lamborghini’s Rivalry

2 BMW Twin-Turbo 4.4-Liter V8

BMW Twin-Turbo 4.4-liter V8 Engine
Via: YouTube

This is the engine that made the M5 what it is – a near-supercar that does 0-60 mph in just 2.6 seconds. This engine has powered a long, long list of Bimmers, including the M cars, since 2009. When it’s a good thing that works, why replace it? Luckily BMW also asked this question and built an engine exactly like it to replace the current model.

The current version of the engine makes 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque in the M Competition models, making it a powerful machine with a decent 4.4-liter displacement. The new generation of M-cars will undoubtedly go electric, but before that happens, BMW assured everyone that the upcoming M5 will get the hybrid drivetrain from the recently debuted XM super-SUV – pushing the boundary between the legendary sports sedan and other supercars even further.

1 Audi Turbocharged 2.5-Liter Inline-Five

Audi Turbocharged 2.5-Liter Inline-5
Via: Twitter

A slightly strange beast, being an inline-five, this Audi engine first shot into prominence when it debuted in the TT RS in 2012. It made 400 horses and 354 lb-ft of torque plus the 1-2-4-5-3 cylinder firing order gave it a characteristic note. More like a yowl than a roar or a whine – like a tiny V10 was hiding somewhere within the engine itself.

It uses a compacted graphite iron cylinder block and has a 10.0:1 compression ratio. Plus the turbocharger is quick to deliver. That one extra cylinder also gives it an extra set of lungs and plenty of gumption to make the engine one of the most characteristic engines on the market. But act fast as the current breed of RS3 will apparently be the 5-pot’s last outing.

Sources: MediaStellantis, AudiMediaCenter, BMW Blog, GM, Ford Motor Company, Mazda

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