Unlike most of the challenges we face as Window Shoppers, this week’s contest has less to do with cars than it does what powers them. We set out to find the most iconic engines, engines that helped define a brand, made a mark in history, or were just spectacular. The car is important, but the engine is king. If you watch, you may wonder why no one chose a Chevy small-block V-8 or a Mopar Hemi. That’s a fair question, and the answer is that each of us incorrectly assumed someone else would pick them.
Instead, we presented slightly less obvious choices. Contributing editor Brett Berk found a sedan with the engine from the 1950s Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Deputy testing director K.C. Colwell also found a transplant job, selecting a four-door with the heart of an Audi R8. Contributor Jonathon Ramsey decided that infamy could make an engine iconic and put up a 2011 Volkswagen diesel for judgement. And we couldn’t argue with that logic, particularly when you consider how far-reaching the media coverage and consequences of Dieselgate were.
Gallery: Ten Rad Cars You Can Import to America in 2021 (Road & Track)
In addition to engines, we discuss car phones, German chancellors, the ideal buyer for a car with fold-flat front seats, Ford Aerostar crash-test results, and things that can go wrong on the last of Porsche’s air-cooled flat-sixes. We even dig into why Colwell hates sunroofs. Clearly, this episode goes off the rails, but you’re used to that by now, right?