The launch of the Ford EcoBoost engine line was met with some trepidation, the notion that the Blue Oval could replace cylinders and displacement with turbochargers not sitting well with traditional fans. But over the past seven years Ford has added lots of believers to the EcoBoost cult, and the 350 horsepower 2.3-liter motor in the Ford Focus RS might just be its best argument yet.
In fact, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine has just earned one of the auto industry’s most prestigious awards, earning a place on Ward’s 10 Best Engines list. Coincidentally, this is also the first year Ward’s released its 10 Best Engines award without a single V8 on the list…
Ford’s EcoBoost engines are no stranger to the Ward’s 10 Best Engines’ list, however, and the 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost has won the distinction twice, as has the 2.0-liter EcoBoost. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost was similarly honored back in 2010, with the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 and Voodoo 5.2-liter motors making the list in past years.
However, with most automakers moving toward downsized engines, this is the first time that the Ward’s 10 Best Engines list lacks a V8 motor from any automaker. In fact, the largest engine on Ward’s list this year, a hybrid version of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, belongs to the Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In. It’s a sign of the times we suppose, as high gas prices and an increased emphasis on electrification have, sadly, pushed V8s to the fringe of the car market.
But that hasn’t stopped Ford from putting out potent engines like the 2.3-liter EcoBoost, offering 350 horsepower and an equal amount of torque from a motor less than half the displacement of a Mustang GT. Big V8s will always be near and dear to us, but Ford’s EcoBoost engines are proof that there is a replacement for displacement.