Though the Oscars are still a few weeks away, Ford Motor Company has already taken home some "gold" recognition — for its engines.
Ford was the only domestic automaker to earn two spots on the Ward’s 10 Best Engines list for 2007. Mazda also earned recognition for its DISI 2.3L turbocharged DOHC I-4.
Ward’s 10 Best Engines 2007
- Audi AG FSI 2L Turbocharged DOHC I-4
- BMW AG 3L DOHC I-6
- BMW AG 3L Turbocharged DOHC I-6
- DaimlerChrysler AG 3L DOHC V-6 Turbodiesel
- DaimlerChrysler AG Hemi Magnum 5.7L OHV V-8
- Ford Motor Co. Duratec 35 3.5L DOHC V-6
- Ford Motor Co. 4.6L SOHC V-8
- Mazda Motor Corp. DISI 2.3L Turbocharged DOHC I-4
- Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. 3.5L DOHC V-6
- Toyota Motor Corp. 3.5L DOHC V-6
Along with the 3.5-liter V-6 Duratec engine, Ford’s 4.6-liter V-8 made the widely-read auto monthly’s top ten list. The winners were selected by Ward’s staffers out of a field of 31 production vehicle engines from around the world.
An option in the Mustang GT as well as the Explorer, the 4.6-liter V-8 seemed to be a favorite with the Ward’s panel. They praised its "exuberant power delivery" and noted that it was "more than just a muscle car V-8."
Barb Samardzich, Ford’s vice president of Powertrain Product Development, was gratified by the honors bestowed by the inclusion on Ward’s 13th annual list.
"Ford, DaimlerChrysler and BMW are the only manufacturers with more than one engine on there; all of us have two," she said. "On our V-8, they said that listing the Mustang GT V-8 was a ’no-brainer.’ "
The 4.6-liter aluminum V-8 has three valve heads and cranks out 300 horsepower, enough to infuse the Mustang GT with tire-smoking performance. The engine also produces more than 50 percent more power than the small-block 289-cubic-inch V-8 did in the classic 1964½ Mustang.
As the optional V-8 in Explorer models, the engine also delivers low emissions and is in compliance with California’s stringent Low Emissions Vehicle II (LEV II) standard.
In the Mustang, the engine is also available in a Shelby GT package that bolts on a Ford Racing Power Pack to boost power by an additional 25 horses. The Power Pack consists of a cold-air intake (much favored by the import tuner crowd), a revised cross-over pipe for the dual exhaust and a bit of engine management software magic.
The Ward’s judges called the Shelby variation a "sweet tweak for the iconic performance V-8" that is "about as subtle as a truck-stop breakfast."
Writing about their test of the Shelby GT single-overhead cam V-8 was Ward’s technical editor Bill Visnic.
"Most of us didn’t get out of the parking garage before scrambling for a pen to wax eloquent about this seemingly innocuous tweak to the 4.6L V-8, the brawny and vocal new generation of Ford’s excellent modular V-8 family that scorched its way to a ’10 Best Engines’ win when launched two years ago," said Visnic.
Even without the Power Pack add-ons, Visnic called the 4.6L "one of the market’s unqualified excitement-per-dollar leaders and (one that) is more convincing than most engines while just idling in the driveway."
But if the need is for hauling people and gear instead of just haulin’ down the street, Ford also offers the 4.6L engine (in iron-block form) in the Explorer and Explorer Sport Trac models, he noted.