As Ward's Auto points out, a record seven of this year's Ward's 10 Best Engines winners integrate state-of-the-art direct fuel injection, demonstrating the rapid pace of technology development as auto makers downsize their engines in anticipation of strict U.S. fuel-economy rules.
The direct injection technology helps improving fuel efficiency while providing quick acceleration and high torque at low rpms.
BMW's competitors are represented by Audi and its 3.0 liter superchaged V6 engine found in the new A6.
Here is what Ward's has to say about the BMW units:
BMW returns to the list for a second time with the N55 3.0L turbocharged 6-cyl. engine in the 335i coupe, an engine that perfectly illustrates the superior balance and refinement of inline engines and the Bavarian auto maker's mastery of the architecture's execution.
With 300 hp and 300 lb.-ft. (407 Nm) of torque, this engine manages better than 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km) during heavy-footed evaluation by WardsAuto editors in October.
New to the winner's circle is BMW's 2.0L N20 turbocharged 4-cyl. engine that dazzles editors in both the Z4 sDrive 28i roadster and larger 528i sedan. With 258 lb.-ft. (350 Nm) of torque in the Z4 and 260 lb.-ft. (353 Nm) in the 5-Series, this stout, compact powertrain packs an impressive 120 hp/L, without sacrificing any of BMW's stellar vehicle dynamics.
This year's winners and the applications tested:
3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi A6)
2.0L N20 Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (BMW Z4/528i)
3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 335i coupe)
3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Chrysler 300S/Jeep Wrangler)
2.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-4 (Ford Edge)
5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang Boss 302)
2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Buick Regal GS)
1.6L DOHC I-4 (Hyundai Accent/Kia Soul)
2.0L Skyactiv DOHC I-4 (Mazda3)
3.5L DOHC V-6 HEV (Infiniti M35h)