As emissions standards get tighter, you might think International Engine of the Year would go to a clever compact powertrain, or an engine that mixes miserly fuel consumption with punchy performance. Turns out the panel of 58 automotive journalists in Stuttgart weren't thinking that way, and instead handed this year's top award to the a twin-turbo Ferrari V8.
That's right, the International Engine of the Year was awarded to the twin-turbo 3.9-liter V8 from the Ferrari 488 GTB. Even though it's 600cc smaller than the naturally aspirated engine it replaces, the bi-turbo V8 makes a whopping 492 kW (660 hp) of power and 760 Nm of torque. Claimed fuel consumption is 11.2 l/100km (21 mpg) – impressive for a supercar, but not particularly parsimonious by any other measure.
"This blend of heart-thumping performance on both road and track, with a glorious V8 Maranello rumble and an ultra-sophisticated design that's loaded with advanced technologies, makes the Ferrari V8 unbeatable," says Dean Slavnich, co-chairman at the International Engine of the Year Awards.
Best New Engine of the Year
The high-end madness continues with Best New Engine of the Year, awarded to the hybrid powertrain in the Honda NSX. It makes use of three electric motors that are hooked up to turbo V6 engine. The first electric motor is hooked up to the crankshaft to provide instant torque to the rear wheels and filling any torque holes potentially created by turbocharging.
Backing the crankshaft-mounted motor are a pair of motors on the front wheels. They're integral to the (deep breath) Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, and allow Honda to cut understeer through proper torque vectoring. Total system output is 573 hp (427 kW), 500 hp (373 kW) of which comes from the turbocharged V6 gasoline engine.
Best Green Engine and Best Electric Powertrain
Although green engines and electric motors are two entirely different things, the judges have given both awards to the Tesla Model S and Model X. Don't worry, we're confused too. The Model S/X can be configured with two or four electric motors, and both cars offer battery capacity between 75 and 100 kWh. Maximum range is 315 mi (623 km).
Best engines between 2.0- and 4.0-liters
The judging panel clearly has a penchant for sports car engines, awarding the prize for the best engine between 2.0 – 2.5-liter to the turbocharged five-cylinder from the Audi RS3 and TT RS. Best engine between 2.5 and 3.0-liters went to the turbocharged flat-six from the Porsche 911 Carrera, which beat the twin-turbo six from the BMW M3 and M4.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 3.9-liter twin-turbo Ferrari V8 won the award for the best engine between 3.0 and 4.0-liters, and the naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V12 from the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta was given the award for engines displacing more than 4.0-liters.
Best engines between 1.0- and 2.0-liters
Porsche was awarded best engine between 1.8 and 2.0-liters with the four-cylinder from the Boxster and Cayman, while the three-cylinder hybrid powertrain from the BMW i8 won the award for engines between 1.4 and 1.8-liters. The three-cylinder turbo engine shared across the PSA Peugeot Citroen range took out the award for best engine between 1.0 and 1.4-liters.
Best sub 1.0-liter engine
Ford has locked this category down in recent years – the 999cc EcoBoost engine has won its category six times in a row now. The engine has been constantly revised over that period, and will come with cylinder deactivation from early next year. It's available in everything from the entry-level Fiesta to the family-hauling Grand C-Max.
Source: International Engine of the Year
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