5 Best Honda VTEC Engines Ever (5 Toyota Engines We'd Rather Have) – HotCars

Honda and Toyota have both produced legendary engines that have gained a cult-like following among tuners and enthusiasts.
A little rivalry in the automotive world doesn't hurt. Customers enjoy the full benefits since when two giants do everything to gain an edge over each other, new technologies and inventions arise, and the market gets better cars. Honda and Toyota have enjoyed one of the hottest rivalries in the industry while releasing many iconic budget sports cars that have influenced the automotive industry for decades.
Honda focuses on speed and handling, while Toyota focuses on dependability and reliability. Still, both Japanese automakers have produced legendary engines that have gained a cult-like following among tuners and enthusiasts. Honda has its famous VTEC engines, while Toyota prides on everything from tiny three-cylinders to legendary inline sixes and even a V10.
Honda first tested the VTEC technology in the CBR400 motorcycle before deploying it for the first time in the 1989 Honda Integra XSi, with the first generation B16 engine. The B16A was a high-revving 1.6-liter 4-cylinder DOHC VTEC motor pushing 160hp at 7,600 rpm and 110lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm.
The B16 remains one of the greatest engines ever built, thanks to its brilliant design and ability to generate insane power. It was the first mainstream naturally aspirated engine to return 100hp per liter.
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Toyota introduced the 1JZ-GTE engine in 1991, powering the forgotten Soarer GT Coupe. Soon the six-cylinder motor gained a reputation for being solidly reliable and for its capability to handle high power output.
It loves to rev high and is perfect for drifting builds. The 2JZ gets more street cred, but the 1JZ holds its own well by having a marginally better hp per liter than its predecessor.
The K20C1 is a 2-liter inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine that first appeared in the Honda Civic Type R in 2015. It is also called the 2.0 VTEC Turbo and has powered less exotic cars like the Accord. The engine pushes up to 316 ponies and is arguably the most hardcore and sophisticated member of the K-Series family.
It has an aluminum block, head, forged steel crankshaft, and connecting rods. Also, it has no exhaust ports since the exhaust manifold comes integrated with the cylinder head and has direct access to the turbocharger.
The 3S-GTE was a factory turbocharged engine deployed in the Toyota MR2 Turbo and Celica All-Trac. It was a 2-liter four-cylinder motor pushing 260 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque. Toyota built the engine across four generations from 1986 to 2007 based on the naturally aspirated 3S-Ge engine.
It came with a cast iron cylinder block, a forged crankshaft, and connecting rods with aluminum pistons. Also, it had advanced parts like piston cooling oil squirters, an air-to-air intercooler, and a twin-entry turbine housing.
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Many consider the B18C the king of the VTEC family and with plenty of truth to it. It first appeared in the 1995 Honda Integra Type R DC2 and helped Honda win over an entire generation of enthusiasts. The DC2 is one of the most collectible JDM cars at the moment.
The B18C5 used on the Integra Type R is arguably the best version. It is easily identifiable by the red valve cover. In 2001, it made 195 hp from the 1.8-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinders while revving to a screaming 8,500rpm redline.
While some of Toyota's most iconic engines are inline-sixers, the 4A-GE came in smaller proportions. It was a high-revving 1.6-liter four-cylinder motor loaded with racing DNA and was one of the first fuel-injected engines with a twin-cam.
It was a state-of-the-art creation when it debuted in 1983, although it produced a humble 112hp and 97lb-ft of torque. Still, it is one of the best tiny naturally aspirated engines, and it powered icons like the AE86 and first-generation MR2 to fame.
The K-series replaced the B-series powering Honda's sports cars from the early 2000s to the late 2010s. There are plenty of incredible members in the K20 and K24 engine families that come with affordable parts and massive tuning potential. The K24 has more capacity, but the K20 provides better high-rpm performance and can handle up to 500hp.
The best version has to be the High-Performance K20A, which powered the JDM FD2 Civic Type R is the most potent version pushing an incredible 221 hp from naturally aspirated two liters.
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Toyota spends most of its time building mainstream cars for the masses, but the Lexus LFA was a standout model built in a limited run of 500 units. Under the hood was the exclusive 1LR-GUE V10 engine, which rightfully earned a spot among the greatest ten-cylinder engines.
Toyota partnered with Yamaha to build the engine pushing 552 hp from the 4.8 naturally aspirated litters. It revs to the 9,000 rpm redline and is one of the best-sounding engines.
The Honda S2000 is a special car and a perfect choice for driving enthusiasts, partly thanks to the F20C engine under its hood. It is the most impressive engine in the Honda VTEC family. It recorded the highest specific power output from a naturally aspirated production engine, with about 124 hp per liter.
The high-revving F20C is a product of engineering magic, and it helped turn the S2000 into an instant classic. Also, it is highly tunable with the forged piston and aluminum block safely pushing up to 400hp.
RELATED: 10 Most Iconic Toyota Engines
The Toyota Supra has been around since the late 1970s, but the fourth-gen A80 is the most popular generation thanks to the famous 2JZ-GTE engine. The 3-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine debuted in the 1990s producing 320hp. Two decades after Toyota halted production, and it remains one of the definitive Japanese performance engines.
Its indestructible nature has seen its tuning application with some pushing as much as 2,000hp, thanks to the cast-iron block. The 2JZ is one of the greatest six-cylinder engines and arguably the best performance engine built by Toyota.
Bryan is a content marketer who works as a staff writer for HotCars.com where he covers a variety of topics, from the first Motorwagen to the latest Electric vehicles. A writer by day and a programmer by night. When he is not writing about cars, catch him tinkering with his old motorcycle.


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