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What is your favorite production car engine?

Illustration for article titled What is your favorite production car engine?

79 years ago this past week, Henry Ford unveiled the flathead V8 in a move that would change automotive history. The hype and legend of the 65 horsepower engine keeps the '32 Ford one of the most popular vintage hot rod platforms almost 8 decades later. Keeping in mind the fact a great engine can make an ordinary car a legend, this week's Question of the Weekend asks what is your favorite production car engine?


It's nearly impossible to love cars without loving what lurks underneath the hood (wherever that might be). This week we want to know what your absolute favorite production car engine ever made. It could be what is sitting under the hood of your daily driver or it could be under the hood under the unattainable car of your dreams. Fast, slow, big, small, domestic, foreign, as long as it left the factory underneath the hood of a street legal automobile it counts.

My favorite production car engine is the 392 Chrysler Hemi V8. The biggest of the early Hemis, the 392 was originally found underneath the hoods of Chryslers and Imperials in 1957 and 1958. The engine was far ahead of what any American Car company was producing at the time. 392 Hemis were powerful in stock form, but perhaps best known for their hot rod potential. When the time comes to repower my own 50s Mopar, I will be selling body parts to purchase a rebuildable 392 Hemi.


I told you about the big early Hemi of my dreams, so tell me, what is your favorite production car engine?

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BoxerFanatic, troublesome iconoclast.


The under-utilized, under-appreciated, under-estimated EG33 Subaru Flat 6. The Big Block of Subaru engines.

The new EZ-series could eclipse it, if it is ever un-corked from it's duty driving 5-speed automatics at only 250 horsepower. That engine is capable of so much more than it is being used for.

and if you asked me my ideal, it would probably be the Porsche 3.8 X51 Powerkit engine, or the new 4.0 GT3 450hp engine.

Runner up would be Ferrari's 512BB engine. 12 horizontally opposed cylinders of awesome, although it doesn't have opposed crank pins, so it isn't a TRUE boxer, but a 180-degree V.

Turbos can make lots of engines shine, but a shining example of a naturally aspirated engine shows engineering prowess.

Building a boxer engine layout shows that engineering takes precedence over ease of packaging and cost, to go after that added benefit of vibration cancellation, even though a boxer is a bit more expensive to build, and a bit wider to fit in a chassis. But it is worth it.

And a 60 degree firing order of a 6 or 12 cylinder engine sings a bit sweeter, too.