International Engine of the Year Awards Feature Engines You Can't Have

By Jason Davis | June 13, 2012
The International Engine of the Year Awards were announced today and the dozens of international automotive journalists with hundreds of combined years of experience have chosen Ford’s 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine as the year’s best. Unfortunately, you can’t have it—yet. Worse still, you can’t have the second-, third-, fifth-best engines in America, and you most likely cannot afford the fourth- and sixth-best engines on the list of six, either. But if you’ve been eagerly waiting purchasing a 3-cylinder, turbo-powered Ford Fiesta, then you’ll soon be in luck. That engine is scheduled to arrive in America in the not-too-distant future. The rules for the competition are simple: “An engine must have been housed in a passenger car that was on sale in more than one country as of June 2012,” and “the panelists judged each shortlisted engine using their subjective driving impressions and technical knowledge, taking into account characteristics such as fuel economy, smoothness, performance, noise and drivability.”
Scoring was equally subjective: “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 1 point. An engine could not be tied for the top spot.” Predictably, diesel engines from BMW and Mazda filled the second and third spots in the rankings, followed by the twin-turbo BMW V-8 found in its $100,000 cars and SUVs. Fifth and sixth place, respectively, went to the 1.4-liter four-cylinder that GM uses in the plug-in hybrid powertrain for the Chevy Volt, and the 3.8-liter McLaren V-8 that only the .01-percenters can afford. But there are other awards, too, including Green Engine of the Year, Best Performance Engine, and Best New Engine. Ford also took the Best New Engine, and GM additionally took the Green Engine award, while the 4.5-liter V-8 in the Ferrari 458 Italia took the Best Performance category. Among the “Even the Little Engines Can Win an Award” Award, there are engine size classes, including Sub-1.0-Liter, 1.0-Liter to 1.4-Liter, 1.4-Liter-1.8-Liter, 1.8-2.0, 2.0-2.5, 2.5-3.0, 3.0-4.0, and 4.0 and Above. Among engines that are available in the good ‘ol US of A: the 1.6-liter turbo that powers every Mini, the hamster-wheel in the Toyota Prius/Lexus CT 200h, select turbo engines from Ford (upcoming Focus ST), BMW (1, 3, 5), Subaru (WRX, Forrester, Legacy), and Audi (A3, A4, A5), and regular gasoline engines like the 2.0-liter SkyActiv 4-cylinder powering the Mazda3, and the 2.7-liter flat-6 powering the Porsche Boxster. There are more, but you probably cannot afford them. For the complete list and a gallery of faces and names and quotes, visit the awards site and geek out. Source: International Engine of the Year Award