The results of the 2012 International Engine of the Year Awards have been announced at Engine Expo in Stuttgart, Germany.
The global jury, consisting of some of the world's most respected and popular motoring journalists, voted Ford's excellent 999cc three-cylinder "EcoBoost" turbo engine, which is put to good effect in the Ford Focus, as the overall winner of the International Engine of the Year Award.
The Ford engine has wrestled the award from last year's similarly sub-1-litre winner, Fiat's two-cylinder "Twin Air" unit. It is clear the judges continue to be impressed by some of the industry's smallest engines, as Dean Slavnich, editor of Engine Technology International and co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year Awards, points out.
"This was a dominant win by the Ford engine and it is important to remember that the overall engine of the year award is not linked to engine capacity or any other criteria beyond the excellence of its engineering and the degree to which it delivers its capabilities in a vehicle and within the broader marketplace. That the small capacity engines continue to impress the most in overall terms, even against the larger, higher performance engines, says a great deal about how the automotive industry has developed in recent years."
The Ford engine managed to scoop the prestigious overall International Engine of the Year title as well as being the victorious engine in both the "Best New Engine" and the "Sub 1-litre" categories.
However, despite the Ford engine's excellent "green" credentials, it was GM's "Range Extender", the 1.4-litre internal combustion engine that sits within the 2012 European Car of the Year, the Chevrolet Volt, which proved to be victorious in the Green Segment.
Graham Johnson, co-chairman of the Awards and Managing Director of UKIP Media & Events, the company that organises the Engine Expo and the Awards, commented: "Pure battery EVs have never been a real-world, viable alternative to the internal combustion engine due to their lack of range and poor cold-weather performance, but GM's range extender concept solves both issues and thus is a genuine blueprint for the future."
In the last of the non-capacity specific classes, Ferrari once again reigned victorious with its 570bhp, 4.5-litre V8 engine as featured in the 458 Italia. With its awesome performance and divine soundtrack, the engine scooped both "Best Performance Engine" and "Above 4-litre" category trophies for the second successive year.
As far as the remaining capacity award categories were concerned, German engineering was completely dominant. BMW bagged four category wins, including the "3-litre to 4-litre" category for its 4-litre V8 found in the M3; the "2.5-litre to 3-litre" category for its 3-liter bi-turbo six-cylinder engine, found in the 1 Series M coupe, 335is and Z4 35is; the "1.8-litre to 2-litre" category for its 2-litre twin turbo four-cylinder engine found across its range; and in the "1.4-litre to 1.8-litre" category for its 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engine co-developed with PSA Peugeot Citroën, which was the co-recipient of the same Award.
Not to be outdone, the VW/Audi group didn't leave the Awards ceremony empty-handed. Audi scooped the "2-litre to 2.5-litre" category for its 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine found in the Audi TT RS and RS3 Sportback, while Volkswagen's much-admired 1.4-litre TSI Twincharger engine, once again defended its crown in the "1-litre to 1.4-litre" category.