Every year, Ward's Auto chooses their favorite 10 engines, and for the first time in 11 years, they've picked a Porsche engine among them. The 2.7 liter 'MA1' engine found in the base Cayman and Boxster has been selected as among the best engines in the world, and if there is anyone who knows, it must be Ward.
In order to be eligible for selection, the engine must be a new or significantly improved design. It must be on sale in a production vehicle during the first quarter of 2014. The base MSRP for the vehicle with this engine is capped at $60,000 (increased from $55,000 last year). As such, the 2.7 liter base Boxster and Cayman are eligible, but the S' 3.4 liter engine is above the price cap.
The mid-mounted DOHC 2.7 liter boxer engine absolutely wowed judges with the technological advances Porsche has made of late. The direct fuel injection, start/stop, VarioCam Plus, and the clutch decoupler which allows the engine to coast at idle all conspired to deliver more than 23 miles per gallon, even with the editors flat footing the throttle at every opportunity. It is an engine that begs to be pushed to the limits, and never fails to satisfy. Ward's Auto editors even commented that the engine feels a lot more powerful than its 275 hp and 213 lb.-ft. of torque would belie.
The last time Porsche won a Ward's 10 Best trophy was in 2002 with the 'M96' generation 2.7 liter flat six, which also won in 2001. The only other victory for Porsche was the 2000 iteration 3.2 liter Boxster S engine. If the cost cap were raised a bit, you can bet that Porsche would have won several more of these trophies, as their engines are seldom less than amazing.
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