For car nuts out there, every year the International Engine of the Year awards are presented by Engine Technology International magazine, published by UKIP Media & Events Ltd. The Awards involve the voluntary participation of 76 motoring journalists from 35 countries, bringing with them a wealth of experience and knowledge of today’s advanced passenger car, SUV, and MPV engines. The awards are broken down into several categories: International Engine of the Year, New Engine, Green Engine, Performance Engine, Sub 1-Litre, 1-Litre to 1.4-Litre, 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre, 1.8-Litre to 2-Litre, 2-Litre to 2.5-Litre, 2.5-Litre to 3-Litre, 3-Litre to 4-Litre, Above 4-Litre.
For 2012, the winning combination appears to be a blend of new technology and performance, with the best powertrains using advanced designs, materials and components. Smaller displacement units that embrace downsizing have again fared well, while for the larger capacity engines, forced induction and direct injection have become crucial technologies that gained many votes. So who took the honors this year? Begin drumroll….
- International Engine of the Year: Ford 999cc three-cylinder turbo (Ford Focus)
- New Engine: Ford 999cc three-cylinder turbo (Ford Focus)
- Green Engine: GM 1.4-litre range extender (Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera)
- Performance Engine: Ferrari 4.5-litre V8 (Ferrari 458 Italia, 458 Spider)
- Sub 1-Litre: Ford 999cc three-cylinder turbo (Ford Focus)
- 1-Litre to 1.4-Litre: Volkswagen 1.4-litre TSI Twincharger (VW Polo, Beetle, Golf, Golf Plus, Golf Cabriolet, Scirocco, Eos, Jetta, Tiguan, Sharan, Touran/Cross Touran, Passat CNG, Touran/Cross Touran CNG, Audi A1, Audi A3, SEAT Ibiza FR, Alhambra, Cupra, Škoda Fabia RS)
- 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre: BMW-PSA 1.6-litre turbo petrol (Mini Cooper S, Clubman Cooper S, Countryman Cooper S, Coupé/Roadster Cooper S, Mini Cooper Works, Clubman Cooper Works, Coupé/Roadster Cooper Works, Peugeot 207, 207cc, 208, 308, 308cc, 3008, 508, 5008, 308 GTI, RCZ, Citroën DS3, C4 Picasso/Grand Picasso, C5, DS5, DS5, DS3 Racing, DS4, DS4 Racing)
- 1.8-Litre to 2-Litre: BMW 2-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder petrol ( (BMW 125i, 320i, 328i, 520i, Z4 20i, Z4 s Drive 28i, X1 20i, X3 20i, X1 28i)
- 2-Litre to 2.5-Litre: Audi 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo (Audi TT RS, RS3 Sportback)
- 2.5-Litre to 3-Litre: BMW 3-litre bi-turbo six-cylinder gasoline (BMW 1 Series M Coupé, 335is, Z4 35is)
- 3-Litre to 4-Litre: BMW M 4-litre V8 (BMW M3 Coupé, M3 Convertible)
- Above 4-Litre: Ferrari 4.5-litre V8 (Ferrari 458 Italia, 458 Spider)
In case you are wondering how the scoring process went, in every category, the panelists judged each shortlisted engine using their subjective driving impressions and technical knowledge, and took into account characteristics such as fuel economy, smoothness, performance, noise and drivability. The jurors each had 25 points to award to their five favorite engines in each category. A maximum of 15 points could be allocated to an engine, and the minimum was one point. An engine could not be tied for the top spot.
We have always felt Ford is the only manufacturer in the United States that was making the right moves considering the economic downturn that began a few years ago, and it is gratifying to see their efforts paid off. Furthermore, it is surprising to see GM on this list. That is something we did not expect. We were also a little surprised that the engines from the Porsche 911 or the Nissan GTR didn’t make it to the top of the charts but we’re sure there are multiple factors that come into play when the judges make their decision. Either way, progress is a good thing, and from what we can tell, efficiency is definitely the name of the game. We’ll wait and see who fares best next year.
For the complete results, visit the International engine of the year awards site.