What Are Your Favorite Engines?

Forum user barefootskater asked a great question over on the forum: What are your top five engines?

Being the melting pot of automotive tastes that is our user base, we've so far seen everything from crowd favorites like the LS and the Honda K-series, to more obscure powerplants like the Coventry Climax FW and the Ford SHO V6.

So head over to the thread on the forum and share your favorites–and don't worry, there are no wrong answers.

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Comments
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Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/30/20 5:43 p.m.

Nothing on planet earth sounds better than an unmuffled big block Chevy. 

rustomatic
rustomatic Reader
9/30/20 5:51 p.m.

I used to love the small block Ford:  the 289, the 302, and the 351.  Then, GM came out with a fantastically better version called the LS.  It took me many years to convert, but once I did, there was no going back.  Nobody makes a Ford quite like GM.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
9/30/20 6:17 p.m.

In reply to Wally (Forum Supporter) :

A screaming V12. Ferrari first. Because Enzo understood music. But any V12 has a better sound than a V8.  A V8's sound is basically 6 cylinders and a stumble as two cylinders fire on top of each other. 

I'm not Anti V8 most cars I've owned have been Chevy V8's but I'm not blind to a V8's shortcomings  

'

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
9/30/20 8:17 p.m.

Honda 5 cylinder 125cc GP bike engine.

More practically my new favorite is Toyota 1uz V8

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/30/20 9:03 p.m.

Either a high rpm small block v8 or a huge displacement ground pounding big block v8.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
10/1/20 8:44 a.m.

In reply to Wally (Forum Supporter) :

Or small-block Ford? Years (and years) ago I watched a C Prepared Mustang at Solo Nats--I want to say it was a coupe. The sound was just amazing. 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
10/1/20 9:58 a.m.

My absolute favourite is a V12 (most V8s leave me cold as they 'blat' along, although the flat crank versions hold a bit more auditory pleasure.  The average V8 seems to be more about volume than anything else, although you can't help but be affected standing beside a 7 liter McLaren Can-Am doing a warm up.

Second best is a high rev straight 6 - the high rev part being construed according to age - a Jag straight 6 was great at 6000 but a BMW S54 is transcendent at 7900 rpm!

Though many of my cars were/are 4 cylinder, they don't really sound that good. Among the best are the 60s/70 Alfas, especially on a race course

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/1/20 9:59 a.m.

Rotary but thats a given

also steam engines, because hellfire!

brownmd89
brownmd89 None
10/1/20 10:20 a.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

In no particular order:

  • Renesis Rotary from the RX-8 (I actually prefer the design over the 13B)
  • LS7 from the C6 Z06
  • Honda F20C and F22C from the S2000s
  • 5.2L Voodoo from the GT350
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/1/20 10:55 a.m.

In reply to brownmd89 :

As much as I hate on Renesis for the garbage design they did manage to improve the HP from the early NA 13bs from 100 to 232hp with no increase in stroke or displacement. Which is a pretty cool feat considering. 

 

racerdave600
racerdave600 UltraDork
10/1/20 11:34 a.m.

Ferrari V12 first, without question, next would be the V8 Alfa Romeo engine from the '60's, followed by the Alfa V6.  

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
10/1/20 4:19 p.m.

I really liked the VR6 in my Mk4 GTI. There are times I wish I still had that car instead of my 2.0t Mk6 GTI. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/1/20 4:33 p.m.

I'm going to have to go with the Toyota 4AGE, the Honda K-Series, Afla Romeo Twin Cam, the BMW M10 and pretty much any four-cylinder engine with individual throttle bodies.

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
10/1/20 5:03 p.m.

In reply to wspohn :

I believe It has more to do with the combustion chamber than the revs.  
The reason the Jag 6 sounds good at only 6000 rpm is due to the Hemi combustion chamber. On overlap some raw fuel will have escaped  underneath the intake valve adding depth and volume to the exhaust note.  Over sized pipes are needed to accommodate that added volume and when oversized pipes feed into a paired megaphone exhaust the blaaaat the exhaust emits is both loud and harmonious.  
 

The BMW's chamber produces more power and allows higher revs which raises the tone but decreases volume. That's good! Less energy wasted making noise and more in creating power. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
10/2/20 7:52 a.m.

Lexus LFA V10.......V10s in general for that matter. 

V10s have the most magnificent wail with the loud pedal smashed through the floorboard. 

Oldboy Speedwell
Oldboy Speedwell New Reader
10/2/20 7:54 p.m.

Personal bias and longtime enthusiasm for the marque puts the Saab B202 motor on top of my list simply because it was great fun driving an oldschool turbo, plus I learned to turn a wrench with 'em.

 

Quite a robust unit which had been very well developed over the years.

 

I miss classic saabburble...broken heart

 

 

 

Purple Frog (Forum Supporter)
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/2/20 8:22 p.m.

And now for today's laugh award...

I vote for the 5 hp Briggs Stratton vertical lawn mower engine.  Why?  Because back in the 60's it freed me from a manual push mower and made my young life a lot nicer.

Besides there's tons of them powering karts even to this day.  

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/3/20 12:52 p.m.

I have always been a fan of the Fiat 124  twincam and all the variants it swawned.  From the original 1400cc engine all the way up to the fire breathing twin charged engine in the Lancia Delta S4.  It was so good an engine, even Lotus used it.

350z247
350z247 New Reader
10/8/20 4:24 p.m.

The S85B50 is hands down the greatest engine ever put in a sports sedan. V8s grow on trees, but V10s that sound like F1 cars are as rare as they come.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 PowerDork
10/8/20 6:26 p.m.

I love all rotaries, but my 4-port 13B in my REPU is awesome!!!! 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
10/8/20 6:41 p.m.

Nothing on Earth sounds as good as a Rolls Royce Merlin at full song.

 

BA5
BA5 Reader
10/13/20 4:27 p.m.

I've always loved the Honda J series V6's. They're just so buttery smooth and have such a nice power band.

Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude)
Toyman01 (Moderately Supportive Dude) MegaDork
10/13/20 4:37 p.m.

I think we just had this thread.

If I have to pick one, it's going to be function over form with the most hp per dollar.

LS wins. 

white_fly
white_fly HalfDork
10/13/20 6:03 p.m.

The question does not mention sound directly, but it's incredible to me how many of the responses do. 

The electric motor may come to power most of the things people drive every day, but it'll never replace the combustion engine. 

My vote is probably the worst so far. I have two Porsche M96's and I love them both.

Opti
Opti Dork
10/13/20 6:28 p.m.

current favorites In no particular order (I'm sure I'm forgetting something)

SBC (gen 2 LT1 in particular)

F2T

1.4 Turbo Ecotec (I forget their designation)

LT5 (4th gen ZR-1 DOHC nonsense)

Ford 300

 

wspohn
wspohn Dork
10/14/20 12:08 p.m.
frenchyd said:

In reply to wspohn :

I believe It has more to do with the combustion chamber than the revs.  
The reason the Jag 6 sounds good at only 6000 rpm is due to the Hemi combustion chamber. On overlap some raw fuel will have escaped  underneath the intake valve adding depth and volume to the exhaust note.  Over sized pipes are needed to accommodate that added volume and when oversized pipes feed into a paired megaphone exhaust the blaaaat the exhaust emits is both loud and harmonious.  
 

My Lamborghini (which was basically two separate in line 6 engines joined on a common crankcase - they even had their own distributors) was also a hemi head as is my MGA Twin Cam and both sound very good indeed.  I guess you'd call my BMW S54 engine a polyspheric combustion chamber with 4 valves, but it sure sounds nice as well.

 

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