Not so long ago the auto industry viewed four-cylinder engines as being only fit for economy cars. That has all changed nowadays. Thanks to higher gas prices and ever-tougher emissions regulations worldwide an increasing number of automakers have begun putting four-cylinder engines under the hoods of iconic models. While this has enraged some automotive purists the general public seems more than happy to drive a European sports car or American muscle car packing a turbocharged engine with just four cylinders. These five awesome sports cars with four-cylinder engines prove that downsizing isn’t always a bad thing.

No. 1 – The 2018 Jaguar F-Type

2018 Jaguar F-Type Four-Cylinder
The 2018 Jaguar F-Type will offer a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Photo credit Jaguar.

The new base model Jaguar F-Type is powered by the automaker’s Ingenium turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which makes 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Jag says the new four-cylinder F-Type will do 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds. The move to a smaller engine brings a host of benefits for the F-Type. The base model is now cheaper, with the coupe selling for $60,895 (a drop of $1,410) and the convertible going for $63,995 (a drop of $2,400).

The four-cylinder model is also lighter than the V6 one by 144 pounds. The bad news is that there’s no manual transmission option, just an eight-speed automatic. Also, the new four-cylinder F-Type may lose the signature growl of its V6 and V8 counterparts and its exhaust note could be altered as well. One thing that downsizing hasn’t changed is the English sports car’s looks. It’s still as achingly gorgeous as ever.

No. 2 – The Ford Mustang

EcoBoost Ford Mustang
The EcoBoost Ford Mustang is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Photo credit Ford.

Back in 2013, Ford announced that the sixth-generation Mustang, which debuted in 2015, would get a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Few could have predicted that by 2017 the Mustang’s V6 would be killed off, with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine becoming the entry-level power plant (and only other option to the 5.0-liter V8). Unlike past four-cylinder Mustangs this current edition is both powerful and fuel-efficient.

It produces 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque and gets an EPA average 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Both of those numbers are better than what the V6 Mustang offers. The 2018 Mustang is on the way, and the refresh should bring some added power to the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The same engine in the Focus RS produces 345 horses.


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