TOP 10. The best Japanese engines of all time

100% JDM Autopedia This article is about cult engines. More specifically about the top ten Japanese engines of all time. My choice may be controversial. I would like to start this article on the left foot and tell you about the Isuzu 1.5 Turbo Diesel engine (the famous T4EC1). But I won’t do it. Firstly because it is ‘stupid’ and secondly because this article is about some of the most precious jewels in automotive engineering. So reliable diesel burners are completely out of scope – and ‘joking around’ I’ve already dedicated too many lines to this old glory that fitted the Opel Corsa in the 1990s… Old-fashioned engines Once upon a time, a long time ago years (too many maybe…), when the main criterion in the development of an engine was neither emissions nor fuel consumption, was performance. Times when engineers had the green card to make us all happy. And ‘all you want’ is to develop highly reliable and rotary engines capable of withstanding the most severe treatments. Consumption and emissions… yes, yes. TECHNICAL SPECIAL: Nissan develops the world’s first variable compression engine However, the world has evolved and with that evolution has also come environmental awareness. With this awareness some of the most interesting engines in recent history have died. Polluting or not, these engines deserve to be remembered and those still active deserve to be squeezed. A toast to this! Leonardo Dicaprio. “I would like to toast to the Automotive Reason”. So let’s start our TOP 10. Don’t mind the engine order, it was almost random. And if I forgot any, please abuse the comment box. Just no offense… 10. Honda B Series Honda B16B Family. Can an engine be beautiful? Of course, yes. As you know, Honda is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines (I wrote it here) – they make engines for cars, motorcycles, boats, work machines and even aircraft. Full JDM: Honda Civic Type R (EK9): the samurai that never made it to Europe Honda has already launched a multitude of engine families, but the B16, B17, B18 and B20 family is one of the most cherished. By way of example, the B16B engine was specially developed for the Honda Civic EK9 Type R. It was perhaps here that the ‘VTEC fever’ was born. At just 1595 cm3 this engine gloriously reached (!) At 8900 rpm. 9. Nissan VR38DETT Nissan VR38DETT. Source. It is the rarest state of VR38DETT engines. This engine is the ‘group kid’. He was born in 2007 and is now 10 years ago – I think nobody has remembered this yet (good article!) – even though his technical background was borrowed from the VRH that fitted the Nissan R390 GT1 that ran at Le Mans. That said, it’s no wonder the VR38DETT’s pedigree. As you know, this 24-valve 3.8-liter twin turbo 24-valve V6 engine has known its fullest expression in the Nissan GT-R. He began his career with 480 hp but has already surpassed 600 hp. Lightweight, large (and costly…) aluminum block, all surface treatment work for minimal friction, high pressure injector lubrication, 9.0: 1 compression ratio, valve opening variation system, wrought aluminum. Anyway, it has everything! But above all this engine has an almost inexhaustible tuning potential. It has been one of the favorite mechanics of drag-race lovers. 1500 hp? For sure! It is a costly engine from a maintenance point of view but not only… its construction also meets very strict parameters. Do you already know the Takumi? Look here and surprise yourself. 8. Mazda 13B-REW Mazda 13B-REW. It may not be the most beautiful visually, but acoustically few face it. Only 1.3 l capacity. You can laugh at the engine’s displacement, but this ‘king of spin’ is one of the most beautiful pieces of engineering ever to come out of Mazda’s Hiroshima studios. More technical details here. In the 13B-REW version this Wankel architecture engine had 280 horsepower, with the help of two sequential turbos – an industry first. The first drove the engine to 4800 rpm and the second did the rest of the work. Apart from the problem of wear on the plunger tips, it was a…


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