For the first time in my career at Ward’s, I am ashamed of my colleagues.
Don’t get me wrong. They are good people and outstanding journalists.
But they’ve been duped, scammed and flim-flammed by the prevailing notion that less is more. So I am duty-bound to remind them that more is more.
In fact, more is more than enough when it’s under the hood of the ’10 Land Rover LR4.
The redesigned SUV features a new 5.0L V-8 Land Rover rightly calls “one of the most advanced engines ever built.” No idle boast, considering its 375-hp output and 375 lb.-ft. (508 Nm) torque rating comes from an all-aluminum design highlighted by:
- Direct injection with unique, center-mounted, multi-hole injectors that allow for a compression-ratio bump to 11.5:1.
- An industry-first torque-actuated variable camshaft timing system that allows for a downsized oil pump.
- Waterproofed belt drives, alternator, air-conditioning compressor, power-steering pump and starter motor.
- And a deep-set sump to keep the crank churning even when the grille is pointed skyward.
No, this engine, dubbed LR-V8, isn’t just more of a good thing. It’s bulletproof (and waterproof, by the way).
Ford Motor Co. can only wish its EcoBoost V-6 were so robust. And Toyota Motor Corp. can only dream its Prius powerplant could be described as “smooth, strong, perfect” – superlatives Ward’s judges lavished on the Land Rover V-8 during Best Engines testing.
My score sheet featured the word “superb,” an impression informed by an extracurricular off-road side-trip. (And if I’d had just one wheel on solid ground, I could have gotten unstuck without a tow.)
So, why didn’t this formidable machine make the cut? Because my well-meaning colleagues fear the political repercussions of aligning themselves publicly with a highly advanced large-displacement V-8 – or as one wag intoned, “a better buggy whip.”
In all fairness, these fine people can’t help themselves. They’ve been seduced by a disingenuous industry that thrives on making engines appear to be something they are not.
Turbochargers make 6-cyl. engines behave like V-8s. And electric motors can make 4-cyl. engines perform like 6-cyl. engines.
But I’m not afraid to suffer the slings and arrows that come from being honest. More is good.
And there should be one more engine on Ward’s 10 Best Engines list: the LR-V8.