Jun
22
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With 140 horsepower, this Studebaker’s 244-cubic-inch “Commander” V8 was muscular for its time, but it falls 225 horses short of the least-powerful engine on our top-5 list of current truck engines.

In 1990, Chevrolet rolled out the 454 SS, an outrageous performance-oriented version of the brand’s full-size pickup truck. At its heart was a tuned version of General Motors’ “big block” 454-cubic-inch (7.4-liter) V8. The engine was rated at 230 horsepower and a stump-pulling 385 pound-feet of torque.

1990 454 SS

1990 Chevrolet 454 SS

I mention the SS because the mighty engine that pounded under its hood does not rank among today’s 5 most-powerful half-ton pickup V8s in terms of horsepower or torque.

Credit two and a half decades of engine-management technology for the power gains we now enjoy under the hoods of our new trucks. Twenty-five years ago electronic fuel injection was still a fresh bit of technology, with no sign yet of today’s direct injection, variable-valve timing, or turbocharging on the horizon.

Compiled here are the top 5 half-ton pickup engines ranked by both horsepower and torque.

5 Most-Powerful Cars of 1977

 

Most Powerful Pickup Engines: Horsepower

 

Chevrolet and GMC EcoTec3 6.2-liter V8: 420 horsepower

6.2 Ecotec3

EcoTec3 6.2-liter V8

Design: OHV V8

 

Ram Hemi 5.7-liter V8: 395 horsepower

5.7 Hemi

Hemi 5.7-liter V8

Design: OHV V8

 

Ford Ti-VCT 5.0-liter V8: 385 horsepower

Ford 5.0 Ti-VCT

Ti-VCT 5.0-liter V8

Design: DOHC V8

 

Toyota i-Force 5.7-liter V8: 381 horsepower

Toyota i-Force V8

i-Force 5.7-liter V8

Design: DOHC V8

 

Ford EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6: 365 horsepower 

EcoBoost V6

EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6

Design: DOHC turbocharged V6

 

Most Powerful Pickup Engines: Torque

 

Chevrolet and GMC EcoTec3 6.2-liter V8: 460 pound-foot

6.2 Ecotec3

EcoTec3 6.2-liter V8

Design: OHV V8

Do I Really Need to Use Premium Fuel

 

Ford EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6: 420 pound-foot 

EcoBoost V6

EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6

Design: DOHC turbocharged V6

 

Ram EcoDiesel 3.0-Liter V6: 420 pound-foot

EcoDiesel V6

Ram EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V6

Design: DOHC turbodiesel V6

 

Ram Hemi 5.7-liter V8: 410 pound-foot

5.7 Hemi

Hemi 5.7-liter V8

Design: OHV V8

 

Toyota i-Force 5.7-liter V8: 401 pound-foot

Toyota i-Force V8

i-Force 5.7-liter V8

Design: DOHC V8

Family Friendly: 5 Most Fuel-Efficient Minivans

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