Ford EcoBoost, Chevrolet Voltec Win Big at International Engine of the Year

This year’s International Engine of the Year competition had many predictable winners: big-bore high-performance motors like BMW’s 4.0-liter V-8 and Ferrari’s 4.5-liter V-8 scored points. But among the exhaust fumes and V-8 roars were a couple of surprises: GM’s Voltec powertrain scored Best Green Engine, while the diminutive 999cc Ford EcoBoost three-cylinder earned the overall Engine of the Year.
The awards are presentedannually following adjudication by 76 automotive journalists from across the globe, includingAutomobile senior editor Jason Cammisa and Motor Trend technical editor Frank Markus. Awards are given out in individual size classes, ranging from sub-1 liter all the way to 4.1-liters and up, as well as best green and performance engines, best new engine, and International Engine of the Year.
Among the size classes were a few old faces: BMW’s N54 twin-turbo inline-six-cylinder engine from the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe and 2012 BMW Z4 sDrive35is scored in the 3-liter category, while Audi’s 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five from the TT RS scored in the 2.0- to 2.5-liter category. The 1.5-2.0-liter category went to BMW again, thanks to its twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from the Z4 sDrive28i and 328i sedan, among others. Top honors in the performance and 4.0-liters-and-up category went, predictably, to the 4.5-liter V-8 from the Ferrari 458 Italia.
The best green engine trophy, meanwhile, went to the General Motors Voltec powertrain, which mixes a 1.4-liter range-extender gas engine, two AC electric motors, and a 288-cell lithium-ion battery pack. The powertrain, which sits under the hood of the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera, as well as the forthcoming Cadillac ELR, took the trophy that even IEoY judges admit usually goes to Toyota and its Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
But big honors– three trophies in all — went to Ford and its 999cc turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost engine that appears in Euro-spec Ford Focuses right now and may or may not make its way to the United States in the future. The EcoBoost engine has two different power levels across the Atlantic–99 horsepower and 123 horsepower–but can reportedly make up to 177 in high-performance tune. Still, it returns up to the equivalent of 49 mpg. Judges praised it for having “virtually no turbo lag” and a stout peak torque figure of 125 pound-feet. In all the 1.0-liter EcoBoost took the best new engine, best sub-1-liter engine, and best overall engine.
While Ford and GM are rightly celebrating the wins, BMW said it was elated at the continued success of its powertrains–a spokesman joked Wednesday that “I think we’re going to need a bigger trophy case–but that’s a good problem to have.”
Source: International Engine of the Year


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