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Chrysler, Ford engines wow Ward's

In another sign that Chrysler Group is "coming back," the automaker's new Pentastar 3.6-litre, V-6 has made it on to the list of Ward's Automotive "Ten Best" engines of 2010.

"It means a lot," Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of Ward's AutoWorld magazine, said Wednesday. "As longtime industry observers, we see very frequently automakers do their best work when their backs are up against the wall and clearly Chrysler's back was against the wall. But, with this engine they made a lot of the right decisions and they really got focused and I think this is really going to help Chrysler."

The Pentastar V-6 will soon be available in 10 vehicles across the 2011 product lineup, including the Windsor-built Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country as well as the Dodge Avenger.

Also on the Top Ten list -- Ford's five-litre V-8, which is being assembled at the Essex Engine Plant and will power the Mustang and F-150 pickup truck.

"The engine really sells the Mustang to the muscle car enthusiast," said Winter. "The horsepower is tremendous but it also gets relatively good fuel economy.

"Then you have this other aspect where the basic architecture is expanded to make this great truck engine.

"So, you have this very excellent engineering where Ford is able to use many of the components for these two very different applications and still make two great engines."

Chrysler's Pentastar V-6, which was tested in the Dodge Avenger and Jeep Grand Cherokee, "is extremely smooth," said Winter. "We were impressed with noise vibration and harshness characteristics, which make it very sophisticated and smooth driving.

By installing the engine in several vehicles, Chrysler will enjoy "cost saving, efficiencies and improved quality," he added.

All the engines that made the list "really stood out," said Winter. "We don't necessarily pick the most fuel-efficient or more powerful ones. It's this combination of making something that's attractive to consumers but also reflects some significant engineering achievements within the industry as well."

For the last 17 years, Ward's has recognized the market leaders in engine technology available in vehicles selling for less than US$55,000.

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1. 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S4)

2. 3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 335i)

3. 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Mini Cooper S)

4. 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Dodge Avenger)

5. 5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang GT)

6. 1.4L DOHC I-4/111kW Drive Motor (Chevrolet Volt)

7. 5.0L Tau DOHC V-8 (Hyundai Genesis)

8. 80kW AC Synchronous Electric Motor (Nissan Leaf)

9. 2.0L DOHC I-4 Turbodiesel (Volkswagen Jetta TDI)

10. 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (Volvo S60)

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