It's that time of year again. A panel of 76 renowned motoring journalists from 36 different countries - including 3 from Australia - have come up with results for the 2011 International Engine of the Year Awards.
Taking the Best New Engine, Green Engine and Sub 1.0-litre category awards was Fiat's new 875cc TwinAir two-cylinder engine. The engine is not available in the Australian market. It is available in three different tunes: 50kW, 60kW and 78kW. It lowest average fuel consumption rating is 4.1L/100km. Matt Davis, one of the panelists, said about the engine,
"I was as sceptical as anyone before I tried this engine, but it’s an entirely ‘new-old’ experience that is the ultimate minimalist IC engine expression. I dig the simplicity here and the sound inside the car. Fuel is literally sipped."
Picking up the 1.0- to 1.4-litre category was, for the sixth year running, was Volkswagen's 1.4-litre TSI Twincharger engine. The engine is available in the Volkswagen Polo GTI, Volkswagen Golf 118TSI and Golf wagon 118TSI, and the Volkswagen Jetta 118TSI. Panelist Brian Cowan said,
"As a measure of its relentless success, TSI Twincharger secured first place in this category by 53 points last year; for 2011, it rolled home some 117 points ahead of second place, the MultiAir turbo unit from Fiat."
Awarded the 1.4- to 1.8-litre category was BMW and PSA Peugeot's 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engine for the fifth year in a row. This engine powers the mighty MINI Cooper S in Australia. It produces 135kW and 240Nm of torque in standard S trim. It also has an average fuel consumption rating of 6.3L/100km. Panelist Frank Markus said,
"It’s the energetic heart of one of the world’s friskiest and most funloving cars."
Taking out the best 1.8- to 2.0-litre class award was BMW's new 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel four-cylinder. It's available in the BMW 123d, and the new BMW X1 xDrive23d in Australia. It produces 150kW of power and 400Nm of torque while showcasing an average fuel consumption rating of 5.2L/100 to 6.3L/100km, depending on the model. Panelist Oleg Vasylevskyi said,
"Active response with impressive efficiency - best 2.0-litre diesel engine ever, with immense power and great economy."
Winning the 2.0- to 2.5-litre award was Audi's 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine for the second year running. This unit is available in the awesome Audi TT RS in Australia. It produces 250kW and 450Nm while possessing an average fuel consumption of 9.2L/100km. Panelist Frank Markus said,
"It is a powerful, visceral reminder of the original Quattro rally racing engine that put Audi on the map. Torque, power, and great sound – this engine has it all."
Taking the 2.5- to 3.0-litre award was BMW's 3.0-litre direct-injection twin-turbo petrol straight-six engine. The engine will power the upcoming BMW 1 Series M Coupe. It's also a derivative of the current BMW 135i, BMW 335i, BMW 535i, and xDrive35i model engines. This will be the fifth year running for the engine, although it has been revised over the years. It produces 225kW and 400Nm in standard trim. Panelist Padraic Deane said,
"Amazing torque levels with super flat distribution. Add to that the masterful use of turbos and high precision injection and you’ve got a superb engineering product."
Picking up the 3.0- to 4.0-litre award is once again, the BMW M3 4.0-litre V8. This is the fourth year in a row and tenth time overall the engine has been selected for this award. It powers the current BMW M3 sedan, coupe and convertible, producing 309kW and 400Nm. Panelist Tomas Hyan said,
"My absolute favourite engine, with clever electronics to make this V8 suitable both for screaming track days or pleasant city cruising."
At the top of the performance categories, Ferrari's 458 Italia 4.5-litre V8 was awarded the Above 4.0-litre and Best Performance Engine accolade. The Ferrari 458 Italia is available in Australia with the engine. It produces 425kW and 540Nm. Panelist Xia Dong said,
"For me, big engines like this must meet two requirements: perfect function and genius innovation. The Ferrari V8 in the 458 Italia does this to perfection."
Last of all, the overall 2011 International Engine of the Year award was given to the Fiat TwinAir 875cc two-cylinder engine. Program manager of the Fiat engine, Gianni Mastrangelo, said,
"We wanted an engine to fully demonstrate our downsizing capabilities and we needed a displacement that could fully exploit our MultiAir system. We concluded that a two-cylinder, 875cc setup with a turbo was capable of realising all our development targets.”
Overall rankings for the International Engine of the Year Award over the years since it started in 1999 consist of the following:
BMW - 52 awards
Volkswagen/Audi - 24
Toyota and Honda - 22
Daimler/Mercedes-Benz - 9
Fiat/Alfa Romeo - 7
BMW PSA and Mazda and Ferrari - 4
Porsche and PSA Peugeot/Citroen - 3
GM and Subaru - 2