BMW took top honors at the latest International Engine of the Year Awards, with the 1.5-liter, three-cylinder hybrid drive unit in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid being declared the overall winner—as well as picking up two class wins—edging out Ford’s 1.0L three-cylinder EcoBoost. BMW also picked up a class win (2.5-liter to 3-liter) for the 3-liter, Twin Turbo six-cylinder engine in the BMW M3 and BMW M4.
The BMW i8 TwinPower Turbo three-cylinder gasoline engine was voted class winner in the 1.4-liter to 1.8-liter category, while the overall drive unit of the BMW i8 claimed a further class win as the best “new engine”. The combination of electric motor and gasoline engine also earned it overall victory.
|BMW 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo in place in the rear of the i8. Click to enlarge.|
The three-cylinder combustion engine in the BMW i8—the first BMW production model powered by a three-cylinder unit—develops 170 kW/231 hp (specific output of 113 kW/154 hp per liter of displacement) and drives the rear wheels, while the 96 kW/131 hp electric motor draws its energy from a lithium-ion battery, which can be charged from a conventional domestic power socket, and sends its power to the front axle.
The three-cylinder engine derives its typical characteristics from BMW’s six-cylinder in-line engines, to which it is closely related. The three-cylinder’s BMW TwinPower Turbo technology comprises a high-performance turbocharging system and direct gasoline injection with high-precision injectors positioned between the valves, along with VALVETRONIC throttle-less load control, which improves efficiency and response thanks to seamlessly variable valve lift control.
The plug-in hybrid system, developed and produced by the BMW Group, enables a range of up to 37 kilometers (23 miles) in the EU test cycle and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) on electric power alone, coupled with a “glued-to-the-road” all-wheel driving experience headlined by powerful acceleration and a dynamically-biased distribution of power through corners.
The more powerful of the two sources drives the rear wheels and uses the electric boost from the hybrid system to deliver hallmark BMW driving pleasure while at the same time offering high levels of efficiency. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes 4.4 seconds, yet combined fuel consumption—as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles—stands at 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers (approx. 135 mpg imp) plus 11.9 kWh of electricity. This equates to CO2 emissions of 49 grams per kilometer.
The other winners from the International Engine of the Year Awards 2015 were:
|International Engine of the Year Awards 2015|
|Sub 1.0-liter||Ford 999cc three-cylinder turbo (EcoBoost)|
|1.0-liter to 1.4-liter||PSA Peugeot Citroen 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo|
|1.4-liter to 1.8 liter||BMW 1.5-liter three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid|
|1.8-liter to 2.0-liter||Mercedes-AMG 2-liter turbo|
|2.0-liter to 2.5-liter||Audi 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo|
|2.5-liter to 3.0-liter||BMW M 3-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder|
|3.0-liter to 4.0-liter||McLaren 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8|
|Above 4.0-liter||Ferrari 4.5-liter V8|
|Green engine||Tesla full-electric powertrain (Model S)|
|New engine||BMW 1.5-liter three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid|
|Performance engine||Ferrari 4.5-liter V8|
The International Engine of the Year Awards were launched in 1999, since when 66 class and overall wins have gone to engines developed for BMW models. Each year an expert panel of judges, this time comprising 65 motoring journalists from 31 countries, selects the best engines in numerous categories. The prize-winners were presented with their awards on Wednesday, 17 June 2015, against the backdrop of the Engine Expo trade fair in Stuttgart.