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(DETROIT) -- The three finalists for the North American 'Car of the Year' and North American 'Truck of the Year' were announced Wednesday, December 12th at the Automotive Press Associations luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club. Forty-nine automotive journalists from the United States and Canada participated in the event. The three finalists for each category were announced by Lindsey Brooke, Sr. Editor of Society of Automotive Engineers and Diane DeFrancis of Deloite & Toushe. The awards for 'Car of the Year' went to the Ford Fusion, Cadillac ATS, and Honda Accord and the 'Truck of the Year' finalists were the Ram 1500, Mazda CX5, and the C-MAX. The winners will be announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2013.

PHOTO & STORY SUBMITTED BY ROBERT BENKO

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 10:25

10 Best Engines Announced

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ward's 10 Best Engines, the premiere industry honors for car and light truck engines, have been announced for 2013. For the first time in seven years, the list is comprised entirely of gasoline-powered engines, with no hybrid, all-electric or diesel powertrains to be found. 

While this result might seem to go against the grain of the industry's push into alternative fuels and propulsion systems, WardsAuto editors who judged the awards see the list as proof there is significant innovation still happening in the development of traditional gasoline engines, making them more fuel-efficient and refined than ever.

"We're always excited to see the advancements being made in hybrids and all-electric vehicles," says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of WardsAuto World magazine. "But there are still significant barriers for the average consumer to look past when considering these vehicles. The cost for most of them remains high, and the driving ranges of the battery electric vehicles will have to be extended to meet the needs of most people."

Instead, the WardsAuto judges found significant innovations in fuel efficiency and overall refinement in the traditional gasoline engines that power the majority of vehicles that will be on the road for the foreseeable future. 

Now in its 19th year, the Ward's 10 Best Engines competition recognizes the latest powertrain technologies that are affordable to most consumers, boost horsepower and torque, are highly efficient, sound appealing and pair up well with their respective vehicles. This year's winners (and the vehicles tested) are:

  • 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S5)
  • 2.0L N20 Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (BMW 328i)
  • 3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 135is coupe)
  • 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500)
  • 2.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-4 (Ford Focus ST/Taurus)
  • 5.8L Supercharged DOHC V-8 (Ford Shelby GT500)
  • 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Cadillac ATS)
  • 2.4L DOHC I-4 (Honda Accord Sport)
  • 3.5L SOHC V-6 (Honda Accord)
  • 2.0L FA DOHC H-4 Boxer (Subaru BRZ)

WardsAuto editors chose the winners after spending October through early December driving 40 vehicles in their routine daily commutes around metro Detroit. Editors scored each engine based on power, technology, observed fuel economy and noise, vibration and harshness characteristics. There is no instrumented testing. To be eligible, each engine must be available in a regular-production U.S.-specification model on sale no later than first-quarter 2013, in a vehicle with a base price below $55,000.  Winners from the 2012 competition were automatically eligible and evaluated against the new engines for 2013.

"The world's automakers are showing no signs in slowing down when it comes to making gasoline engines the best choice for today's and tomorrow's drivers," Winter says.  With new technologies such as "stop-start" – which shuts down the engine when a vehicle comes to a stop or idles -- automotive engineers are proving they have no shortage of tricks up their sleeves for reducing fuel consumption and cost of ownership."

(DETROIT) -- U.S. auto sales of light vehicles in November 2012 indicated increases at a resonable pace of the U.S. automobile companies.
GM sold 186,505 with an increase of 3% from 2011

Ford sold 177,092 with an increase of 6% from 2011
Toyota sold 161,695 with an increase of 17% from 2011
Honda sold 116,580 with an increase of 39% from 2011
Chrysler sold 122,565 with an increase of 14% from 2011
Hyundai sold 53,487 with an increase of 7.8% from 2011
Nissan sold 96,197 with an increase of 13% from 2011
The Detroit Big Three had 42.5% of all car sales in November 2012.

The prediction for 2012 is an increase of at least 1.5% for all domestic auto makers for a total of 14.2 million vehicles. If they follow the November increase, they should sell over 14.4 million vehicles. At the end of November 2012, they have increased sales over 2011 by 13.9%.

G.B.V. & J.B.