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CNET On Cars: Top 5: Most powerful four-cylinder cars

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CNET On Cars: Top 5: Most powerful four-cylinder cars

3:21 /

Brian Cooley runs down a list of the five brawniest four-cylinder engines in cars today.

The poor old blind 4 banger. In America at least its the automotive equivalent of government cheese. Just getting back. But we're in the golden age of turbo charged, direct injected 4s that are now freakishly powerful. I'm Brian Cooley, here to rank these guys the way engine designers would. By their specific output. That means the amount of horsepower the engine generates, per liter of engine size, or displacement. Let's go. Number five is the Audi TTS. At 133 horse per liter. Now, Audi is better known for engines with a V shape. And the TT is often maligned as a kind of poser sports car but the TTS need make no apologies under the hood, it's 2 liter turbo 4 knocks out 265 horses, nearly as much as a number of V6 cars that are 3 liters. Number four is the Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T. Pull up to someone in a Hyundai, any Hyundai, and they're not expecting much from you. But the Genesis Coupe will change that. With a turbo 2 liter [UNKNOWN] that delivers 274 horse power and in the R spec model, it has one of the drivable 6 speed manuals out there. So there go 2 wimpy stereotypes at once. Number three the Alfa Romeo 4C, 139 horse per liter. The rarest car in our list. And the only one that is built largely of carbon fiber. This is basically a pocket super car. It also has the smallest engine in our set up, 1.7 liters that's it. But still cranks out 237 horse power. And they say it's gonna grow in output to closer to 300 down the road. Number two, Mitsubishi's Lancer Evo. 146 horse per liter. The Lancer Evo's been showing what a well engineered Ford can do for years. It's two liter turbo engine puts out 291 horsepower, and it's also our number two car based on torque, 300 pound feet of the stuff, a very impressive set of numbers. But the car has been kind of been languishing in the shadows of late. Before I get you to number one, a couple of cars I know you're gonna ask about. The VW Golf R, for example. Now, once it gets to the U.S. it'll be a real contender for this list, but the U.S. spec isn't locked in yet. Cars not due 'til Q1 2015. If we did take the euro spec car today though, it'd be vying for second against the Lancer Evo. And the new 2015 Mustang is on the way, an it's gonna have a Turbo Four for the first time in ages in that car. But its numbers are also still in flux. Ford promises at least 305 horse power, but even at that level, if wouldn't miss the cut on specific output, because it also has the largest engine on our. Arlings. Okay, our number one amazing four is in the Mercedes CLA45, the AMG car. At 178 Horsepower per mer little liter. This isn't even close guys. The CLA45 has a two-liter engine that puts out 355 Horsepower. To put that into perspective, that's 32 horsepower more than Chevy gets out of the Camaro V6, which is roughly twice as large. I think we've made the case for Fours. High tech cars and modern driving. That's what we do over at CNETONCARS. COM. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]

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