Now in its 15th year, the International Engine of the Year Awards have named their finalists for 2014 across a number of categories for engines that have excelled in bringing new design and engineering standards to the world of automotive propulsion.
“The 2014 International Engine of the Year Awards jury was made up of many of the world’s most respected motoring journalists,” the agency said. “In total, there were 82 jury members from 34 countries, bringing with them a wealth of experience and knowledge of today’s advanced passenger car engines. This year, the winning engines blend high-end performance with advanced technologies that reduce emissions and substantially improve fuel economy. Forced induction designs came first place in several categories, although one naturally aspirated motor collected two awards.”
The final standings are ranked by UKIP Media & Events Ltd., which involves “the voluntary participation of 82 motoring journalists from 34 countries.” UKIP Media notes that it “receives no advertising or financial support from any car manufacturer or distributor.” Here are the 12 winning engines in their respective categories.
1. International Engine of the Year: Ford’s 999cc liter EcoBoost Three-Cylinder
You probably know it as the EcoBoost 1.0 liter, but technically speaking, Ford’s potent little three-cylinder comes in one cc shy of a thousand. Nonetheless, it was rated as International Engine of the Year, as the tiny turbocharged powerplant is capable of producing 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque.
2. Green Engine of the Year: Tesla’s Full Electric Powertrain
It’s not so much an engine as it is a simple electric motor and battery setup, but the way it’s put together is anything but bland. Capable of producing as much as 416 horsepower and an equally impressive figure for torque, Tesla’s electric powertrain is arguably the closest that an EV system has come to rivaling the capabilities of an internal combustion engine. Until a system capable of rivaling Tesla’s is released, it’s a safe bet that this powertrain will continue to dominate the green category.
3. New Engine of the Year: Mercedes-AMG’s 2.0 liter Turbo
Rated at about 355 horsepower, the 2.0 liter inline four from Mercedes-AMG (DDAIF.PK) is among the most potent four-cylinder engines in production, with roughly 88 horsepower coming from each cylinder. That’s enough to catapult Mercedes’ CLA45 AMG to 62 in about 4.6 seconds. The engine beat out the runner-up from BMW, one from Porsche, and another from PSA Peugeot Citroën.
4. Performance Engine: Ferrari’s 4.5 liter V8
For the fourth consecutive year, Ferrari (FIATY.PK) drove off with the Performance Engine of the Year award in its glove box, as its 4.5 liter V8 is tuned to push out 605 horsepower in the 458 Speciale, or about 135 horsepower per liter. The engine goes to show that with the extremely fine craftsmanship Ferrari has built its name on, the true engineering chops occur mostly under the hood.
5. Sub-1.0 Liter Engine: Ford’s 999cc liter EcoBoost Three-Cylinder
Ford’s mini motor is back as the leader in the sub-1.0 liter segment, handily beating out the BMW 647cc two-cylinder electric-gasoline range-extender for the i3 (which came in second place) by a margin of 244 points. Volkswagen, Fiat, and Renault-Nissan rounded out the remaining finalists, but the Ford EcoBoost was the resounding winner by a long shot.
6. 1.0 liter to 1.4 liters: Volkswagen’s 1.4 liter four-cylinder TSI Twincharger
Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK) dominated this set, with no fewer than four engines out of six carrying the VW insignia. Out of the group, it was the 1.4 liter TSI Twincharger unit that took the top spot, beating back Fiat’s 1.4 liter MultiAir turbo by 158 points. Though this engine isn’t yet available in the U.S., it can be found in a wide range of VW’s products, from the Volkswagen Polo to the Skoda Fabia RS.
7. 1.4 liters to 1.8 liters: BMW-PSA Peugeot Citroën’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo (petrol)
BMW’s (BAMXY.PK) partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroën yielded the 1.6 liter naturally aspirated four, which is found in most of Mini’s vehicles as well as a slew of Peugeot and Citroën models that are available outside of the U.S. In its highest spec, the engine is tuned to 270 PS (about 266 horsepower) in the sporty Peugeot RCZ R, and at its lowest, it produces about 123 horsepower in the Peugeot 308.
8. 1.8 liters to 2.0 liters: Mercedes-AMG’s 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo
Mercedes’ incredible four cylinder — which produced as much power as a V8 did not too terribly long ago — stole the award for best 1.8 to 2.0 liter engine, defeating Audi’s TFSI 2.0 liter, the BMW 2.0 liter twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel, and Mazda’s 2.0 liter DI Skyactiv, among others. While it’s only available in the CLA AMG currently, look for its U.S. arrival in the GLA AMG compact crossover in the near future.
9. 2.0 liters to 2.5 liters: Audi 2.5 liter five-cylinder turbo
Five-cylinder engines have never really enjoyed the same kind of commercial success that four- or six-cylinder engines have, and the Volkswagen-badged five cylinders didn’t fare too well with the critics. However, Audi’s take on them appears to have netted a different result. The panelists decided that it was the best engine between 2.0 and 2.5 liters, upsetting rivaling units from Mazda and Mercedes by a margin of 117 points.
10. 2.5 liters to 3.0 liters: BMW 3.0 liter twin-power turbo inline-six cylinder
BMW’s twin-turbo inline six returns, this time as the best engine on the market that displaces between 2.5 and 3.0 liters. The Bavarian company has long been renowned for its creamy, silky-smooth inline six engines, and its commitment to them while most others have moved on to a V-formation is especially commendable. Moreover, it’s one of the most versatile engines in BMW’s lineup, finding homes in models from the 135i to the Z4 and X6.
11. 3.0 liters to 4.0 liters: McLaren’s 3.8 liter V8
Besting the likes of Nissan’s insane 3.8 liter V6 from the GT-R, three entries from Porsche, one from Maserati, and one from Bentley, the McLaren twin-turbo 3.8 liter V8 walked away the winner by a wide margin (106 points above the second-place finisher). It’s the beating heart of McLaren’s iconic P1 super-hybrid, as well as the “entry-level” 12C and the new 650S. In the 12C, it puts out roughly 615 horsepower and as much as 727 horsepower in the P1. The 650S sits somewhere in the middle, at around 640.
12. Over 4.0 liters: Ferrari’s 4.5 liter V8
Ferrari’s excellent 4.5 liter V8 returns again to take the title for the over 4.0 liter category, amassing 380 points in total for the segment — a full 109 points above the runner up, which was also a Ferrari unit (the 6.3 liter V12). Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Lamborghini rounded out the finalists, but Ferrari proves yet again that its engine-building prowess is as good outside of Formula 1 as it is in it.