Anyone who tells you that “There ain’t no replacement for displacement” apparently has never driven a modern day turbocharged car. As technology evolves, engineers continue to find ways to achieve incredible feats with less and less. These days, four-cylinder engines come in a myriad of different sizes and configurations, as they continue to propel some of the most popular and surprisingly powerful cars on the market. From the budget-minded consumer to the luxury lover, people everywhere are discovering an affinity for the four-banger.
Four-cylinder engines have evolved to the point where they can routinely hit speeds of more than 150 miles per hour, and certain automakers like Ford have started to use these smaller motors to make classic models more efficient, like the EcoBoost Mustang. Buyers don’t seem to mind the smaller displacement engine either, as typically these cars are never truly pushed to their limits, thus making a four-cylinder engine a wise choice for everyday driving.
You will notice that under-sized engines come in different variations (such as inline-four and flat-four configurations), that many of the cars on this list come equipped with turbochargers, and that top speeds are what delineates what made our cheat sheet today. We were not so concerned with zero to sixty times and power numbers, as we are more interested in seeing who holds the crown for highest mile per hour numbers. And yes, there are speed limiters on almost every car these days, and that the following vehicles have the potential to go faster without them.
Now don’t get the notion that we don’t have an unkempt love affair with twelve cylinder engines and supercharged screamers like the Hellcat over here at the Cheat Sheet, because we definitely have a soft spot for the heavy-hitters too. It’s just that when it is time to get logical, and gas is surging above $5 a gallon, we want something a little more practical and affordable. We just don’t want to be bored either…