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If this year's headline looks a little different, you can thank both the WardsAuto and the changing automotive industry. This is the first year for the renamed 10-best list, reflecting an industry that is still building remarkable internal combustion engines alongside newer technologies such as hybrids, electric vehicles, hydrogen-powered fuel cells, and more. 

This year's WardsAuto 10 best engines and propulsion systems competition wasn't as crowded as 2019; however, the evaluation still considered 26 new or significantly updated powertrains. After putting them to the test earlier this fall in metro Detroit, the editors picked their favorites and came to a consensus on which powertrains stood above the rest. Click through the slideshow to see WardsAuto's 10 best engines and propulsion systems of 2020.

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WardsAuto has announced the winners of its annual Wards 10 Best Engines & Propulsion Systems awards, and for the first time in 11 years, three inline 6-cyl. engines appear on the list, while four electrified powertrains make the cut for the third consecutive year.
This is the inaugural year of the renamed competition that since 1995 has been recognizing groundbreaking engineering as demonstrated in new powertrains available in reasonably affordable vehicles in the U.S. market.

“The auto industry is making tremendous strides by continuing to develop innovative internal-combustion engines while simultaneously investing in hybrids, battery-electrics, 48V mild hybrids and hydrogen-powered fuel cells,” says Wards Senior Content Director Drew Winter.

The 2020 Wards 10 Best Engines & Propulsion Systems winners in alphabetical order by automaker:

  • BMW 3.0L DOHC Turbocharged I-6 (BMW M340i)
  • Daimler 3.0L DOHC 48V Turbo I-6 (Mercedes-Benz GLE450)
  • FCA 3.6L DOHC 48V eTorque V-6 (Ram 1500)
  • Ford 2.3L DOHC High Performance Turbo 4-Cyl. (Mustang)
  • GM 3.0L DOHC TurboDiesel I-6 (GMC Sierra)
  • GM 6.2L OHV V-8 (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)
  • Honda 2.0L DOHC Atkinson i-VTEC 4-Cyl./HEV (Accord Hybrid)
  • Hyundai 150-kW Propulsion System (Kona EV)
  • Hyundai 1.6L DOHC Turbocharged 4-Cyl. (Sonata)
  • Nissan 2.0L DOHC VC-Turbo 4-Cyl. (Altima)

This year’s list of winners reflects an industry that is trying to do it all with heart-pounding fire breathers, capable pickups that don’t need V-8s, family cars that don’t need V-6s and a battery-electric CUV that is fun to drive.

Wards editors chose the winners after evaluating 26 all-new of significantly improved engines and electric propulsion systems during everyday driving in metro Detroit in October and November. The field of nominees includes last year’s 10 honorees. This year’s repeat winners are the BMW 3.0L Turbo I-6, FCA Ram 1500 eTorque, Honda Accord Hybrid, Hyundai Kona EV and the Nissan Altima’s VC-Turbo 4-cyl. To be eligible this year, vehicles must have a base price no higher than $65,000.

Editors score each powertrain based on horsepower, torque, comparative specs, NVH management, observed fuel economy and the application of new technology.

The winning automakers will be honored Jan. 16 at a luncheon during the all-new WardsAuto Engine & Propulsion Summit in Detroit, which will feature morning roundtables from Wards analysts, leading suppliers and winning automakers.

Profiles of the winning engines, videos and additional information about the 2020 Wards 10 Best Engines & Propulsion Systems can be found on

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