The 2011 list was made after editors evaluated 38 vehicles with new or significantly improved engines for the ’11 model year, based on power, technology, observed fuel economy and noise, vibration harshness.
The Nissan LEAF features a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor powered by a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery. Both motor and inverter have been developed by Nissan, and the power system generates 107 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. The power is transferred to the wheels through a single-speed reduction gear.
The heart of the Chevrolet Volt is its Voltec propulsion system, which combines pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending engine, giving to the Volt up to 379 total miles of driving before charging or filling up. The Voltec’s propulsion system consists of three main components – a long-life battery, a 1.4-liter, range-extending engine and an electric drive unit to deliver power to the wheels. The Volt’s long-life battery consists of a 5.5-foot, 435-pound (198.1 kg) T-shaped, 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It supplies energy to an advanced, 111-kW (149-hp) electric drive unit to propel the vehicle. Using only the energy stored in the battery, the Volt delivers 35 miles of gas- and tailpipe emissions-free electric driving, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. What sets the Volt apart from other electric vehicles is its ability to operate after the battery’s energy is depleted – a feature that eliminates the range limitations associated with electric-only vehicles. The Volt’s 344 miles of extended range comes from the highly refined, 1.4L, 63-kW (84 hp) gasoline-powered engine that provides power to the electric motors.
But fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness are not the most important criteria for eligibility this year, as seen by recognition of the new 5.0L V-8 in the Ford Mustang GT, 5.0L V-8 in the Hyundai Genesis and the 3.0L supercharged V-6 in the Audi S4.
Here is the complete list of winning engines:
– 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S4)
– 3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 335i)
– 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Mini Cooper S)
– 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Dodge Avenger)
– 5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang GT)
– 1.4L DOHC I-4/111kW Drive Motor (Chevrolet Volt)
– 5.0L Tau DOHC V-8 (Hyundai Genesis)
– 80kW AC Synchronous Electric Motor (Nissan Leaf)
– 2.0L DOHC I-4 Turbodiesel (Volkswagen Jetta TDI)
– 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (Volvo S60)