In powertrain circles, it’s widely accepted that brilliant designs win the outright International Engine of the Year Award, but only truly great developments do it back-to-back. And history certainly seems to support this thinking; until this year, the exclusive ‘doubles’ club consisted of only three car makers and four engines across the Awards’ rich 19-year history.
First to do it was BMW M’s V10 monster in 2005/2006. BMW then did the ‘double-double’ when its 3.0 twin-turbo claimed the crown in 2007/2008. Next was Volkswagen with its innovative 1.4 TwinCharger in 2009/2010. And the last to join was Ford with the brilliant 1.0 EcoBoost, which in fact won the outright title three consecutive times, from 2012 to 2014.
And so Ferrari’s all-conquering F154CB heart has joined this elite club of just four other powertrain creations to do the much sought-after IEOTYA ‘double’, having successfully defended its title from last year.
That the race to win the outright International Engine of the Year Award was a close call – Porsche’s 911 3.0 turbo finished just 35 points off the pace – will be irrelevant to Ferrari and Prancing Horse aficionados.
This victory cements the heart-pounding twinturbocharged V8’s place in the history books. And if that’s not impressive enough, in the past two years the 488 pusher has won no fewer than seven awards in total, including the category class victories, back-to-back Performance Engine titles, and the coveted New Engine award last year. If ever there was an engine that has made its mark on these awards and the automotive industry in general, it’s this one! So congratulations to Ferrari, powertrain chief Vittorio Dini, and all the engineers over in Maranello.
But unlike in 2016, there’s much more to this year’s International Engine of the Year Awards then just a screaming, charged Ferrari eightcylinder that’s oozing with advanced technologies and innovation.
Representing a first for the International Engine of the Year Awards, an Electric Powertrain category has been created that’s specifically for 100% battery electric vehicles, showcasing the advances in technology for this type of powertrain as it grows in popularity around the world. The key here is that the winner of this allnew grouping is entered into the second round contest, meaning a BEV could, for the first time, win the outright International Engine of the Year Award – something that wasn’t possible by winning Green Engine, Performance Engine or New Engine titles. But judging by how voting went in round two, there’s still a long way to go before an electric vehicle powertrain wins the outright International Engine of the Year Award.
After the overall International Engine of the Year gong, the next category many car makers want to win is the New Engine, which over the years has been won by BMW (a staggering five times), Volkswagen (twice), Fiat (twice), and then Mazda, Toyota, Porsche, Ford and Mercedes- AMG all once.
Picking up the coveted New Engine title for 2017, then, is Honda’s wonderful 3.5 V6 hybrid powertrain for the new NSX, which wowed judges and successfully fought off strong competition from Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and BMW.
It’s been a long 11-year absence for the Japanese car maker, which won no fewer than 22 awards between 1999 and 2006, but Honda has finally returned with a bang to the International Engine of the Year Awards. Welcome back!
The International Engine of the Year Awards are presented by Engine Technology International magazine, published by UKI Media & Events Ltd. The Awards involve the voluntary participation of 58 motoring journalists from 31 countries. UKI Media & Events Ltd receives no advertising or financial support from any car manufacturer or distributor.