Less Is More: Fiat’s Two-Cylinder Marvel 'Dominates the Gobe'

Less Is More: Fiat’s Two-Cylinder Marvel ‘Dominates the Gobe’

A two-cylinder powerplant wins the 2011 International Engine of the Year title.

Stuttgart, Germany — The results of the 2011 ­International Engine of the Year Awards were ­announced May 18 at Engine Expo in Stuttgart, ­Germany.

The global jury, consisting of some of the world’s most respected motoring journalists, voted Fiat’s innovative and diminutive 875 cc two-cylinder TwinAir the greatest automotive engine ­available today. The tiny turbocharged engine impressed judges with its extremely low emissions, high fuel economy and impressive power of 85 bhp. The unit can be found powering Fiat’s “500” model.

Dean Slavnich, editor of Engine Technology International and co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year Awards, says: “Fiat has now produced one of the all-time great engines. Who would have thought that a two-cylinder unit could have won the International Engine of the Year title when we launched the awards in 1999? Its triumph is a clear signal that less is more: people want low-emission, fuel-efficient yet powerful engines, and just two cylinders certainly seems to provide a comprehensive solution!”

Indeed, the TwinAir engine not only managed to scoop the overall International Engine of the Year title, but it was also victorious in the Best New Engine, Best Sub 1L and Best Green Engine categories, even beating zero-emission pure electric vehicle engines from Nissan and Mitsubishi in the latter category.

Joining Fiat in its success was compatriot and stablemate Ferrari, the judges finding it hard not to be impressed by the Italian car maker’s new 570 bhp, 4.5L V8 engine as featured in the 458 Italia. This potent powerplant scooped both Best Performance Engine and Above 4L category trophies.

BMW bagged four category wins, including the 3L to 4L category for its 4L V8 found in the M3; the 2.5L to 3L category for its 3L DI Twin Turbo fitted across much of its range; the 1.8L to 2L category for its 2L Twin Turbo diesel engine found in the 123d and X1; and the 1.4L to 1.8L category for its 1.6L four-cylinder turbo engine co-developed with PSA Peugeot Citroën, which also scooped the same award.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen’s 1.4L TSI Twincharger engine, which won the overall International Engine of the Year title in both 2009 and 2010, once again defended its crown in the 1L to 1.4L category.

For more information on the awards, and to see all the category nominees and winners, visit www.ukipme.com/engineoftheyear.

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