Each year, engines come and go as automakers find better ways to get more performance while also improving fuel economy.
We’re now entering an era where there is a replacement for displacement, and that’s in the form of forced induction. There was a time when turbocharged and supercharged engines were hard to come across, especially from the factory, but now they’re everywhere, powering anything from an entry-level Mercedes-Benz CLA250 to an exotic Ferrari 488 GTB.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Best Sounding V8 Engines
AutoGuide.com took a look at 10 great performance engines we’ll miss and are wondering whether or not their replacements are truly better.
BMW E90 / E92 M3 V8 Engine
Introduced in the BMW E90 and E92 generation M3 models, the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine turned out 414 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque when it was first introduced in 2007. In 2010, BMW tweaked the S65 engine to a 4.4-liter V8 that provided 444 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque that was used in the 2010-2011 BMW M3 GTS coupe and 2011 BMW M3 CRT sedan. The powerplant was derived from the BMW V10 found in the M5 and M6 and featured an aluminum construction. The engine went on to capture the International Engine of the Year awards for the 3.0- to 4.0-liter category in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Since then, the German automaker has replaced the engine with a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine with 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. Some say the M3 and M4 just aren’t the same without a V8 under the hood, while others are more than happy with a turbocharged mill lurking in the engine bay.
Buick Grand National Turbo V6 Engine
In the late 1980s, Buick produced a 3.8-liter turbocharged V6 engine packing 245 hp and 335 lb-ft of torque that was used in the Grand National. To bid farewell to the Grand National model, Buick produced 500 limited edition GNX models that saw its performance improved to 300 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. We’re talking about a coupe that went zero to 60 in 5.4 seconds in the late 1980s, turning in a quarter mile time of 13.4 seconds.
Unfortunately, those days are long gone, and the most popular Buick turbo engine you’ll find these days are lurking under the hood of a Regal in the form of a 2.0-liter unit with 259 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Dodge Neon SRT-4 Turbo Engine
Some say the Dodge Neon SRT-4 was ahead of its time, while others are glad it was only manufactured from 2003-2005. When it was first introduced, the SRT-4 was powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 215 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque, but a year later, the American automaker increased that to 230 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque, thanks to larger fuel injectors and an updated ECU. The Neon SRT-4 reportedly went zero to 60 in 5.3 seconds with the more powerful setup while clocking a quarter mile time of 13.9 seconds.
Nowadays, Dodge’s definition of an exciting turbocharged engine in a sport compact is a 1.4-liter mill with 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque found in the Dodge Dart.
Honda / Acura Integra Type-R Engine
If you’re a Honda or Acura fan, this engine needs no introduction. The famous B18C5 was used in the Acura Integra Type-R as a 1.8-liter four-cylinder with 195 hp and 130 lb-ft of torque. Not amazing numbers by any imagination, especially compared to today, but it had a redline of 8,400 rpm and it screamed once VTEC kicked in. The focus of the Integra Type R was to minimize weight while increasing rigidity, something nearly all automakers pay attention to now to improve fuel economy and performance. Less than 4,000 units were ever produced in the U.S. and back then, the B18C5 set the record for most power-per-liter from a naturally aspirated engine in the U.S. That record was broken with the S2000’s 2.0-liter engine that made 120 hp per liter.
Mazda RX-7 Rotary Engine
There’s a reason why everyone is clamoring for Mazda to revive the rotary engine. The twin-turbo 13B-REW engine was used in the last-generation RX-7 and provided 280 hp in its final iteration. As a twin-turbo version of the 13B engine, its total displacement was 1.3 liters, but it had a pair of sequential turbochargers to help eliminate turbo lag. Sadly, Mazda replaced the RX-7 with the RX-8 that featured the naturally aspirated 1.3-liter two-rotary engine that peaked with 232 hp and 159 lb-ft of torque.
Mercedes-Benz 5.4L Supercharged Engine
There was a time when Mercedes-Benz turned to superchargers for increased performance and one of its greatest was the M113 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine. It was used in numerous models across the 55 AMG lineup, including the CL55, S55, SL55, E55, G55 and CLS55 from model years 2002-2009. Performance ranged from 469 hp to 510 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque to 531 lb-ft of torque.
Since then, Mercedes has fallen in love with Biturbo engines for its 63 lineup powered by a 4.0-liter V8 mill handcrafted from AMG. In the new C63 AMG, it churns out 469 hp, while the C63 S AMG gets 503 hp. The German automaker also uses a 5.5-liter Biturbo V8 found in the E63 S that pumps out 577 hp.
Mitsubishi Evolution 4G63 Engine
One of the few engines that has truly lasted for decades is the Mitsubishi 4G63, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is most well known for its turbocharged variant found in the Lancer Evolution models. The same mill was also used in the Eclipse and Eagle Talon turbo models as well as numerous race cars. It has also been a favorite among tuners worldwide, having the capability of producing some insane performance when built and equipped with an upgraded turbo and fuel system. Sadly, we are bidding farewell to the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution this year, exiting with 291 hp, although the automaker replaced the 4G63 in 2007.
Nissan Skyline RB26DETT Engine
It’s not even an engine that was ever available in the U.S., but it was still sought after like no other. Used in the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R, the RB26DETT may have been rated at 276 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque, but much of that was due to a “gentleman’s agreement” between Japanese automakers to limit the horsepower advertised. Enthusiasts in the U.S. have imported the engine and it has found its way into various other vehicles such as the Nissan 240SX, with tuners having reached the 1,000-hp mark numerous times. The RB26DETT was a 2.6-liter inline-six twin-turbo engine.
Nissan went on to replace the RB26DETT with what’s found in the current GT-R today, a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with up to 600 hp in the GT-R NISMO model.
Toyota Supra 2JZ-GTE Engine
No performance engine list would be complete without what is arguably the king of sadly discontinued engines: the Toyota Supra’s 2JZ-GTE. To this day, tuners are pushing them to the limits well more than 1,000 hp and can be seen under the hood of quarter-mile specialists worldwide. The 2JZ-GTE was developed as a response to Nissan’s successful RB26DETT engine, so it’s no surprise that it’s also an inline-six engine, albeit with 3.0 liters of displacement. From the factory, it produced 320 hp, but performance figures can hit more than 500 with just bolt-on turbo upgrades. In fact, many tuners have safely pushed power to the 700-hp mark without even cracking open the bottom end.
Volkswagen “Clean” Diesel Engines
It’s probably a bit premature to say we’ll miss Volkswagen’s “clean” diesel engines, but in light of the massive dieselgate scandal, we couldn’t help ourselves. It’s still unclear as to what will happen with Volkswagen and its diesel engine that has been caught cheating on EPA diesel emissions tests, but the German automaker is working on a fix and a recall for current owners. The big question is whether shoppers will consider Volkswagen diesel models in the future and whether or not Volkswagen will continue to invest into developing diesel engines, especially when hybrids and electric vehicles are taking hold of the market. For now, they’ll continue to exist, but the 2016 models won’t even be sold for quite some time as Volkswagen has withdrawn its EPA application for those vehicles.