June 2, 2005 BMW’s Formula One-inspired 5-litre V10 that powers the M5 and M6 super-sedan and super-coupe has been named the best engine in the world in the International Engine of the Year Awards 2005. The Bavarian car maker, which has also won Awards for its M3 3.2-litre and its new twin-turbodiesel 3-litre in this year’s competition, walked away from the seventh annual International Engine of the Year Awards Presentation with a total of six trophies, the newly crowned V10 having also dominated the Best New Engine, Best Performance and Best Above 4-litre categories. The unit beat tough competition from rival and previous Awards’ winner Mercedes-AMG and from last year’s overall International Engine of the Year, the Toyota Prius 1.5-litre Hybrid Synergy Drive, which in 2005 has won the Best Fuel Economy and Best 1.4-litre to 1.8-litre categories.
Juror Van Tune, America’s most-watched TV automotive pundit said of the BMW 5-litre, now International Engine of the Year 2005: “Who in the world needs an Autobahn-eating 507bhp V10 with a bloodthirsty battle cry that frightens Ferraris, but morphs into a dutiful pussycat in city traffic? You and I do, of course.” Van Tune was one of 56 motoring journalists from 26 countries who voluntarily give their time to choose the greatest powerplants in the world.
Elsewhere in this prestigious contest, the 1.3-litre Multijet turbodiesel that was jointly developed by Fiat and GM took the 1-litre to 1.4-litre honours, while Honda’s Insight 1-litre hybrid won the sub 1-litre category for the sixth consecutive year. The Japanese Honda firm’s 2.2-litre turbodiesel won the Best 2-litre to 2.5-litre sector.
BMW wasn’t the only German manufacturer to experience success with its performance engines: Volkswagen’s Golf GTi 2-litre FSI turbo engine topped the 1.8-litre to 2-litre class.
Best New Engine of 2005: BMW 5-litre V10 (M5, M6)
There are a number of reasons why 56 motoring journalists from 26 countries have named this, the BMW 5-litre V10, Best New Engine 2005. The first vote-winner is unquestionably its 507bhp, and it’s a certainty that the maximum torque of 520Nm would have helped sway the jurors. Most judges have probably been equally impressed by the unit’s first-class refinement and its intoxicating bark when under full load. But this V10, which has taken class honours by 100 points over the second-placed new Ferrari unit, is also about the application of smart technologies; about sound engineering that enables one to achieve over 100bhp per litre in a naturally aspirated engine.
The basics are a vee in a 90° angle (meaning the engine is more compact and can thus be mounted lower in the nose of the M5 and M6 to aid handling performance), and a one-piece aluminium cylinder head containing four valves per cylinder. The clever design is less obvious – because less is more. All the valvetrain components are of low mass to enable the high maximum operating speed of 8,250rpm. For example, the M engine features compact 5mm shaft valves and also has spherical valve tappets with hydraulic valve play and single valve springs.
Further weight is saved with the cylinder crankcases being cast using the low-pressure gravity die method, and being made of lightweight hypereutectic aluminium-silicon alloy. Even the pistons are made from light aluminium alloy and then coated with iron for strength – they weigh just 481.7g each.
The bottom line is that this Best New Engine 2005 weighs just 240kg – that’s almost exactly the same figure as its predecessor, a V8.
- 1. BMW 5-litre V10 (M5, M6) 251 points
2. Ferrari 4.3-litre V8 (F430) 146 points
3. Toyota 3.3-litre Hybrid (Lexus RX400h) 133 points
4. Porsche 3.8-litre (911) 130 points
5. BMW Diesel 3-litre Twin-Turbo (535d) 121 points
6. Honda 3-litre Hybrid (Accord) 90 points
Best Performance Engine: BMW 5-litre V10 (M5, M6)
Mercedes-AMG’s reign in the Best Performance Engine category has come to an end after two years at the top – the BMW 5-litre V10, already named the Best New Engine 2005, has taken class honours, and the Bavarian unit has done so rather convincingly, with 41 of the 56 judges voting for it. Indeed, the BMW is so popular that it garnered an impressive 91 points more than the second-placed Ferrari 4.3-litre as housed in the new F430, and 168 points more than the Mercedes-AMG 6-litre.
“Sheer performing indulgence in a luxurious comfort zone,” commented judge Padraic Deane on the V10 that powers both the M5 and the M6. He added: “A cultured 500bhp in the world’s best driver’s cars.”
Frank Markus of Motor Trend is equally impressed by the 4999cc’s performance credentials: “Few road car engines can draw such a direct link to an exotic racing engine as the BMW’s V10 does.”
This American journalist is not wrong: packing 507bhp and 520Nm, and revving to 8,250rpm (with the crank spinning at 8,000 times a minute, each of the 10 pistons covers about 20m per second) the engine can deliver true supercar-rivalling pace.
And it draws on BMW’s Formula One knowledge, this naturally aspirated engine using 10 flow-optimised intake trumpets to breathe in air from two intake plenums. Each cylinder has its own throttle, a feature more akin to a powerplant that is designed solely for track use. Note that the blocks for the M engine are cast at the same place as those prepared for the Williams F1 cars.
But the 5-litre is not just about performance, as the V10 is both Euro 4 and US LEV2 emission levels compliant.
- 1. BMW 5-litre V10 (M5, M6) 294 points
2. Ferrari 4.3-litre V8 (F430) 203 points
3. Mercedes-AMG 6-litre bi-turbo (SL65, CL65) 126 points
4. Porsche 3.8-litre (911) 105 points
5. Chevrolet 6-litre V8 (Corvette, Pontiac GTO) 60 points
6. Chrysler/Dodge 6.1-litre V8 (300C SRT-8, Magnum) 59 points
Best Engine Above 4-litre: BMW 5-litre V10 (M5, M6)
Never before has an engine been so popular: the BMW 5-litre V10, which is now officially the Best New Engine 2005 and Best Performance Engine 2005, has topped the Above 4-litre category by winning votes from 35 of the 56 jurors.
“Everything about this engine – the power output, the layout, the four-pump lubrication arrangement, the 50 sensors and the 8,250rpm redline – all are hallmarks of a supreme design effort,” enthused Jake Venter of South Africa.
It’s such a love affair that sees this engine deprive Ferrari of a trophy for the third time in this competition – the M5 and M6 pushed the Italian heart into second place again. The Bavarian design also beat the VW V10 diesel, the unit that has won this category for the past two years – that 5-litre still put in an impressive performance, finishing third with 142 points.
But then with 507bhp and, more significantly, the ability to put a smile on its driver’s face thanks to its stunning turn of speed – zero to 100km/h (62mph) is dispatched in 4.7 seconds – and race-like bark, the BMW is made of vote-winning stuff.
It’s also made with advanced know-how. For example, the MS S65 engine management system is the central factor behind the V10’s performance and emission data. With more than 1,000 individual components, this management design receives over 50 input signals, calculating the perfect point for cylinder ignition, fill and injection quantity.
There’s more technology with the bi-VANOS variable valve timing that helps optimise valve movements and thus combustion behaviour. In short, efficiency is standard.
- 1. BMW 5-litre V10 (M5, M6) 260 points
2. Ferrari 4.3-litre V8 (F430) 163 points
3. VW Diesel 5-litre V10 (Touareg/Phaeton) 142 points
4. Mercedes-AMG 6-litre Bi-Turbo (SL65, CL65) 140 points
5. Chrysler/Dodge 5.7-litre V8 (300C/Magnum) 74 points
6. Aston Martin 6-litre V12 (DB9, Vanquish S) 66 points
Best Economy Engine: Toyota 1.5-litre Hybrid Synergy Drive (Prius)
The first of this year’s returning champions – Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, which in 2004 scooped no less than four International Engine of the Year Awards including the overall crown – has retained the title of Best Fuel Economy engine. The Prius’ powerplant is still a popular choice with all the judges, scoring points from jurors in every region except Africa.
So just how good is the engine? How about the potential to achieve a fuel economy of 4.2 litres of petrol consumed for every 100km travelled (67mpg)? Then there are the low emissions levels enabled by its electric-combustion engine combination: hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide outputs are respectively 80 and 87.5 per cent lower than those required by Euro 4 for petrol engines, and 96 per cent below the legislated requirement for diesel cars. CO2 emissions are also well below average for this size of engine: 104g per km on the EU combined cycle, reduced further to 99g/km out of town. All of this means that Prius is clean enough to meet the toughest regulations: the zero-emission standards planned for California.
However, while Hybrid Synergy Drive has been welcomed by the environmental lobby, not to mention a number of prominent Hollywood celebrities, don’t think that a clear conscience comes at the expense of performance. The electric motor contributes 67bhp to the hybrid’s maximum output of 110bhp, while the peak torque of 478Nm helps propel a Prius and its occupants from zero to 100km/h (62mph) in 10.9 seconds. With this combination of economy and performance, it’s no wonder that Toyota has now upped production to over 120,000 cars a year to meet demand.
1. Toyota Hybrid 1.5-litre 220 points
2. Toyota 3.3-litre Hybrid (Lexus RX400h)120 points
3. Fiat-GM Diesel 1.3-litre (Panda, Punto, Lancia Ypsilon, Opel/Vauxhall Tigra, Corsa) 105 points
4. Honda 1.3-litre IMA (Civic) 88 points
5. BMW Diesel 3-litre Twin-Turbo (535d) 75 points
6. Honda 3-litre Hybrid (Accord) 72 points
Sub 1-litre: Honda 1-litre IMA (Insight)
It’s a standard-setting sixth win in this category for the Honda 1-litre IMA found in the Insight. Indeed this – the smallest member of Honda’s hybrid engine family, which was recently expanded with the addition of a 3-litre V6 version in the US-market Accord – has consolidated its position as the most successful engine in the Awards’ history. Since the Awards were launched in 1999, this IMA has scooped 10 trophies for Honda, including the overall title of International Engine of the Year in 2000.
The Insight’s engine is popular with almost the entire judging panel: 38 of the 56 jurors awarded points to the Insight, three giving it a maximum tally of 15 points. Among those impressed by the engine’s outstanding economy, which can run as low as 3L/100km (95mpg), was Automóvil’s Arturo de Andrés: “As there are no diesels, and almost no turbos in this class, the points go to the more economical ones; the Honda IMA gets top points for its hybrid technology,” said the Spaniard.
A central component of that technology is an ultra-thin, 10kW, 60mm-thick brushless electric motor that boosts the performance of the compact 995cc, three-cylinder petrol engine. Power is increased from 68 to 76bhp, and torque from 90 to a useful 113Nm, giving the Insight spritely acceleration performance of zero to 100km/h (62mph) in 12 seconds and a maximum speed of 180km/h (113mph). No other mass-production engine can deliver such figures, yet emit just 80g of CO2 per kilometre.
Petrolhead judge Van Tune added: “Still damn impressive fuel economy in a very driveable and even kind of fun package.”
- 1. Honda 1-litre IMA (Insight) 302 points
2. Smart Brabus (Roadster) 181 points
3. Toyota 1-litre (Yaris/Vitz) 141 points
4. Ford 1-litre Superchraged (EcoSport) 94 points
5. Smart Diesel (ForTwo) 83 points
6. Suzuki 1-litre (Wagon R+) 71 points
1-litre to 1.4-litre: Fiat-GM 1.3-litre Diesel
Runner-up in this category when it was launched last year, the Fiat-GM Powertrain 1.3-litre turbodiesel has in 2005 taken top honours in the 1-litre to 1.4-litre class. The victory strikes a blow for oil burners in the fuel efficiency battle with hybrids (Honda’s Civic IMA had dominated this category for two years), and is proof of the growing global acceptance of diesel as a fuel of the future.
Fiat-GM’s Polish-built, 1251cc common-rail diesel features the so- called ‘Multijet’ technology that was developed at the Fiat Research Centre. ‘Multijet’ uses electronic control to divide the main injection into several smaller ones to achieve quieter combustion, reduced emissions and increased performance. The system can be applied differently depending on the engine’s requirements at any given moment – for example, to reduce start-up times, provide more torque, or lower noise.
Low weight is a further asset of this 70bhp, 170Nm engine. The use of aluminium in the base and cylinder head helps keep that weight down, thus aiding vehicle performance and handling characteristics.
And it’s compact too: the unit measures just 460mm x 500mm x 650mm, which means it can be installed in a wide variety of vehicles, such as Fiat Panda, Vauxhall Corsa and Suzuki Ignis. This versatility certainly found favour with the judges: “A frugal and agile engine for a wide variety of different cars,” praised Thomas Imhof. Contributed Graham Johnson: “The Fiat-GM is a very smooth, very quiet diesel application that offers fine driveability and performance, combined with economy.”
- 1. Fiat-GM Diesel 1.3-litre (Panda, Punto, Lancia Ypsilon, Opel/Vauxhall Tigra, Corsa) 225 points
2. Honda 1.3-litre IMA (Civic) 218 points
3. Peugeot-Citroën/Ford Diesel 1.4-litre (C2, C3, Fiesta, 1007) 138 points
4. Volkswagen 1.4-litre FSI (Polo, Golf) 94 points
5. Toyota Diesel 1.4-litre (MINI, Yaris/Echo/Vitz) 50 points
6. Daihatsu 1.3-litre (YRV, Terios) 49 points
1.4-litre to 1.8-litre: Toyota 1.5-litre Hybrid Synergy Drive (Prius)
The star of the International Engine of the Year Awards in 2004, Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive returns once again as a multiple Award-winner in 2005. The Prius’ second trophy of the year means it’s secured back-to-back victories in this displacement class. That’s small wonder, given how universal its popularity is: the engine picked up points from every single Asian judge, some 28 points from a possible 60 in total; 22 out of the 27 European judges contributed a total of 183 points, including three maximum-score 15s; and to cap it all, Prius garnered a further 106 points from the American jurors.
The secret of this unit’s success is clever technology, and not all of it is confined to the hybrid componentry. Toyota has engineered the 1.5-litre petrol engine to operate on the Atkinson cycle, so that the compression and expansion strokes are independently set. As a result, the Prius makes better use of the energy it generates, because the combustion chamber volume is reduced, and the chamber is only evacuated after the explosion force has fallen sufficiently. Regenerative braking is another reason why, when a regular IC-engined car works at about 14 per cent efficiency, the Prius manages to operate at 32 per cent.
But despite the technology, drivers are unlikely to notice its presence. Seamless integration means the only tell-tale signs are the silence when driving in the pure electric mode around town and, of course, the fuel economy potential to sip just 4.2L/100km (67mpg).
In the words of Irish journalist, Padraic Deane: “No quirks and very little compromise to get super economy in a real family car. The best hybrid package on the market.”
- 1. Toyota Hybrid 1.5-litre 365 points
2. Toyota 1.8-litre VVTL-i (Celica, Corolla, Lotus Elise) 123 points
3. Peugeot-Citroën/Ford Diesel 1.6-litre (C-MAX, C4, C5, Mazda 3, Peugeot 206, 307) 104 points
4. MINI 1.6-litre Supercharged (Cooper S) 97 points
5. Volkswagen 1.6-litre FSI (Audi A2, VW Golf, Touran) 60 points
6. BMW 1.8-litre Valvetronic (316ti) 57 points
1.8-litre to 2-litre: Volkswagen 2-litre FSI Turbo (Golf GTi, Audi A3, A4)
It takes something special to topple Honda’s S2000 2-litre, which is one of the most popular engines in International Engine of the Year Awards history, with its five-year reign heading the 1.8-litre to 2-litre class – the Volkswagen Group should be proud of its 2-litre, four-cylinder engine.
Key to the triumph is the addition of a turbocharger and intercooler to VW’s FSI technology to create the power behind Audi’s top A3 and A4 models and the latest-generation Golf GTi. This 1984cc engine offers 200bhp at 5,100rpm, as well as a maximum torque of 280Nm, available from 1,800rpm to 5,000rpm. And the judges love it: “The best balance between technology, performance, economy and a clean exhaust,” commented Arturo de Andrés.
Such praise recognises the fine engineering work: far from simply bolting a turbocharger to its existing 2-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine, VW Group made key changes to the cylinder head, including the addition of sodium-filled exhaust valves, armoured inlet and exhaust valve seats, strength-optimised roller rocker fingers and valve springs with increased spring forces. Couple such tinkerings to variable valve timing and an engine managed by the Bosch Motronic MED 9.1 system, and the result is a motor that is, in the words of Gary Tsang from China’s Automobile magazine: “Fantastically driveable across the range with wonderful torque, sound and refinement. It’s the best engine of the real world.”
Fellow judge, Peter Nunn, agrees: “The Volkswagen-Audi turbocharged FSI has a broad band of qualities: response, good torque, no turbo lag, and is very easy to use day-to-day.”
- 1. Volkswagen/Audi 2-litre Turbo (A3, A4, Golf GTi) 151 points
2. Honda 2-litre (S2000) 140 points
3. BMW Diesel 2-litre (X3, 120d, 320d) 125 points
4. Subaru 2-litre Turbo (Impreza, Legacy/Outback, Forester, Saab 9-2X) 111 points
5. Mitsubishi 2-litre (Evo, Outlander/Airtek) 89 points
6. Honda 2-litre (Civic Type-R) 73 points
2-litre to 2.5-litre: Honda 2.2-litre Diesel (Accord, CR-V, FR-V)
Honda may be the second most successful brand in the history of the Awards, but its diesel technology has never garnered one of these sought-after trophies – until now: the i-CTDi (i stands for intelligent, the C for creative) 2.2-litre four cylinder has topped the 2-litre to 2.5-litre category.
Beating established competition from BMW, the turbocharged unit puts out 140bhp at 4,000rpm and, at 2,000rpm, offers a maximum torque of 340Nm. Such figures help propel a so-engined Accord from zero to 100km/h (62mph) in 9.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 209km/h (130mph). Pace with economy: 5.4L/100km (52.3mpg) on the EU Combined Cycle.
According to the company, displacement and configuration were chosen to get the best of “performance, NVH and emissions characteristics”. Helping it achieve its goals are a heavy-duty acoustic cover, a second-order vibration balancer, a dual-mass flywheel to reduce gear rattle and two-stage combustion. For emissions, Accord CO2 figures come out at 143g/km for the sedan, and 153g/km for the tourer.
Here is an engine that is helping change the image of diesel power, with fuel economy as standard, near-silent running at idle, and hushed pace at cruising speeds. Its appeal is in petrol-engine-like refinement and performance.
Tomaz Porekar of Slovenia’s Avto Foto Market is impressed: “Power, economy, sound – everything puts this diesel at the top of four-cylinder engines.” Jack Yamaguchi adds: “Smooth, powerful, torquey and economical – in every way a Honda.”
- 1. Honda Diesel 2.2-litre (Accord, CR-V, FR-V) 164 points
2. BMW 2.5-litre (325,525) 154 points
3. Ford 2.3-litre Hybrid (Escape HEV) 79 points
4. Mazda 2.3-litre Turbo (6MPS) 77 points
5. BMW 2.5-litre six cylinder (325, X3, 523, Z4) 76 points
6. Honda 2.2-litre (S2000) 75 points
2.5-litre to 3-litre: BMW 3-litre Twin-Turbo Diesel (535d)
2005 represents one of the best years for diesel technology in the International Engine of the Year Awards’ history: three of the eight category winners are heavy-oil burners. This winner, BMW’s 3-litre in-line six, dubbed R6D, is the most powerful diesel engine in its class: the 2993cc has 272bhp at 4,400rpm, and a massive 560Nm at 2,000rpm, but still manages to record consumption figures of 8L/100km (35.3mpg). Such numbers won several votes and much praise, and not just from regions where diesels are popular: “Forced induction of a highly intelligent type,” commented American Dennis Simanaitis of Road & Track. In all, seven of the 15 North American judges awarded the diesel points.
Winning the affections of the jury is a basic configuration that employs two different-sized, successively-actuated turbos: the smaller one operating at lower speeds, the larger one working at higher speeds. As engine speed increases, the larger turbo, working as a pre-compressor, becomes more active as intake air is additionally highly compressed in the smaller turbocharger before a turbine control valve distributes the flow of the exhaust air to both units. In other words, there is a constant source of power available.
The unit uses high-tech materials too, sporting a reinforced crankcase, more robust and lighter trapezoidal connecting rods and lighter camshafts. Emissions are kept in check thanks to a particulate filter.
Mohamed Sheta of Auto News Agency was just one of the impressed judges: “Driving on the German Autobahn, the amazing torque and smoothness of the engine makes you feel you are driving a high-output V8 gasoline engine.”
- 1. BMW Diesel 3-litre Twin-Turbo (535d) 296 points
2. Honda 3-litre Hybrid (Accord) 181 points
3. BMW 3-litre six cylinder (330, 530, 630, 730) 157 points
4. Mazda RENESIS (RX-8) 116 points
5. Porsche 2.7-litre (Boxster) 94 points
6. Jaguar Diesel 2.7-litre V6 Twin-Turbo (S-Type) 78 points
3-litre to 4-litre: BMW 3.2-litre (M3)
With this triumph, BMW’s 3.2-litre straight-six, dubbed S54, has won its category five years in a row. There is no doubting its popularity among the judges: the S54 finished just 10 points short of its 2004 Awards total, despite the new competition in 2005 in the form of Porsche’s 3.8-litre flat-six and Toyota’s latest hybrid effort, the Lexus RX400h.
The words of France’s Christophe Congrega are typical of the 39 jurors that cast votes in favour of this 3.2-litre: “The six cylinder is incredible in terms of power, torque and sound, all the way from idle to maximum speed.”
But there is more to this M engine, which was named International Engine of the Year 2001, than just speed and raw power. 343bhp and 365Nm is impressive, but look beyond these numbers to find a wealth of technology. Witness the use of double VANOS variable valve timing, graphite-coated aluminium pistons and a bespoke engine management system, equipped with two 32bit microprocessors that can perform 25 million calculations a second. It also has anti-friction valve-drive followers with 30 per cent less mass than comparable cup tappets. Such technical know-how from the talented men at Munich helps the M3 record fuel consumption figures of 8.5L/100km (33.6mpg) on the EC extra-urban cycle.
And it offers superb refinement too, the so-engined M3 having the ability to provide hushed, luxurious high- speed cruising. As experienced Irish judge, Padraic Deane of Automotive Publications and Motorshow Car Buyers Guide, said: “A powerful straight-six that is composed no matter what you ask of it. Outstanding.” 1. BMW 3.2-litre (M3) 243 points
2. Porsche 3.8-litre (911) 218 points
3. Toyota 3.3-litre Hybrid (Lexus RX400h) 167 points
4. Nissan 3.5-litre V6 (350Z/350GT, Infiniti FX35/G35) 114 points
5. Porsche 3.6-litre Turbo (911) 85 points
6. Mercedes-Benz 3.5-litre V6 (SLK, C-Class, CLS, E-Class, SL) 67 pointsView gallery - 9 images