The globally recognised International Engine of the Year Awards is back- now in its 16th year – and with a field as hotly contested as ever.

Recognised as the industry’s top accolade for the world’s best powertrain technology and judged by a fully independent, international panel of industry experts, the awards continue to evolve. With an ever more diverse field, the awards recognises the genuine importance that all-electric and green technology plays in taking the fight to conventional internal combustion engines.

Developments from Tesla, Renault, Nissan and BMW see each marque compete in the ‘Green Engine’ award, a category designed to represent the best developments in eco-friendly powertrain technology. BMW is shortlisted twice in this category alone; its 647cc two-cylinder electric-gasoline range extender from the i3 (170ps) and its full-electric powertrain variant, again from the i3 (170ps).

With a staggering 32 engines entered into the ‘New Engine’ category, the scale of electric and hybrid powertrain development in the last 12-months is realised, with this clean and green technology making up over a third of all engines shortlisted.

Dean Slavnich, editor of Engine Technology International and co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year Awards, says:

“Electric and hybrid technology used to only sit on the fringes of the commercial car market, but such has been the pace of development that consumers are no longer seeing the technology as marginal or only for ‘die-hard eco-warriors’. These engines are taking on convention combustion units on a level playing field.”

BMW i3 Cross section layout - electric motor and drivetrain

The rise of Chinese and Indian powertrain technology is also a noticeable new addition to this year’s line-up, reinforcing that increasingly technological excellence is being developed within countries generally considered to be still ‘developing’ within the automotive sector. India’s highly regarded Tata brand is represented by it 624cc two-cylinder engine in the sub-1 litre category while elsewhere its 1.4-litre engine from the Tata Manza is also recognised .

No country is working towards developing a world-class automotive industry at quite the pace of China, and BYD, one of its leading domestic brands, is shortlisted for its 998cc three-cylinder gasoline-hybrid engine in the sub-1 litre category. Qoros, the Chinese-Israeli JV, also makes an awards debut with its 1.6-litre turbo engine, as found under the bonnet of the Qoros 3.

The 2014 ceremony may also make history of its own, if Ford can scoop the top award, and become the first car maker to win the overall International Engine of the Year Award three times in a row – with the same engine. Shortlisted once more for International Engine of the Year is last year’s winning engine, the Ford 999cc three-cylinder turbo Ecoboost which is found in a variety models including the Ford Fiesta, B-Max, Focus, C-Max, and the Tourneo Connect.

The awards also seek to acknowledge exceptional engineering within the larger capacity categories as well as dedicated awards for ‘Green Engine’ technology, the best ‘New Engine’ and the much anticipated ‘Performance Engine’ award, which will see the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche go head-to-head for victory.

The 16th International Engine of the Year Awards will be announced at a ceremony at Engine Expo 2014 in Stuttgart, Germany on 25th June. The event, one of the annual highlights of the automotive industry calendar, will see a total of twelve Awards given to those manufacturers who have been judged by an 82-strong panel of international experts to have achieved excellence in powertrain engineering.

Source; International Engine of the Year Award

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