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Ford three-cylinder voted world's best again

Three-pronged attack: Soon to be available in the refreshed Fiesta that arrives later this year, the 999cc Ford EcoBoost engine is proving its potential elsewhere, powering the Focus and the Mondeo.

Second successive International Engine of Year award for Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost

6 Jun 2013

UPDATED: 6/06/2013 8:30PMFORD’S tiny 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost engine has won the coveted International Engine of the Year award for the second successive year, beating a host of impressive powerplants from car-makers such as Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, BMW and Audi.

The 2013 results handed down overnight were again headlined by a small, economical engine taking top honours ahead of a high-performance unit, following Fiat’s two-cylinder TwinAir win in 2011 and Volkswagen’s 1.4-litre TSI Twincharger taking the title in 2009 and 2010.

To debut in Australia later this year in both the EcoSport SUV and updated Fiesta light hatch, Ford’s 92kW 999cc turbocharged triple secured 479 points – the highest overall score in the event’s 15-year history – to be well ahead of VW’s latest 1.4 TSI ‘ACT’ (with cylinder deactivation technology) on 408 points.

Well back in third place on 247 points was BMW’s 2.0-litre twin-turbo four, just ahead of Porsche’s 2.7-litre direct-injection flat-six (245) and Ferrari’s 6.3-litre V12 (233).

Further afield were BMW/PSA Peugeot Citroen’s 1.6-litre turbo-petrol four (197), McLaren’s 3.8-litre V8 (180) and Audi’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine (111).

Awards co-chairman Dean Slavnich, who was among the judging panel of 87 journalists from 35 countries (including Australia), described the Blue Oval’s first-ever three-cylinder donk as “a truly remarkable engine”.

“It says something very special about an engine when it can return to the awards for a second year and still be considered to be the best engine on the market,” he said.

80 center imageFrom top: Performance Engine winner Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, 2.5-litre to 3.0-litre winner Porsche flat-six, best New Engine winner Volkswagen 1.4 TSI ACT and Green Engine winner Fiat 875cc twin-cylinder turbo.

“The victory is all the more impressive given that there are some spectacularly good new entrants into the market this year”.

The engine also won the sub-1.0-litre category, while Ford has used the awards announcement to confirm plans to double production of the engine at its engine plant in Cologne, Germany, to more than 1000 units a day from mid-August “to meet demand”.

The three-cylinder triple was designed at Ford’s R&D centres in Germany and the UK, and is also built in Romania. It has a block so small and light that it could technically be taken as carry-on luggage as demonstrated in a marketing stunt by Ford last yearMeanwhile, the established VW 1.4 TSI Twincharger defended its title in the 1.0-1.4-litre segment, the 1.4 TSI ACT took out the ‘best new engine’ class (beating the Ferrari V12 in the process) and Fiat became the first car-maker to secure the ‘best green engine’ category with an alternative-fuel engine – in this case, a compressed natural gas version of the 875cc two-pot TwinAir.

BMW, which has dominated the engine award categories in previous years, won the 1.4-1.8-litre class with the 1.6 turbo-petrol – co-developed with PSA and primarily used across the Mini range (along with various Peugeot and Citroen models) – as well the 1.8-2.0-litre category with its 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder petrol engine that slots into a wide variety of cars in the Germany prestige car-maker’s stable.

Ferrari did not walk away empty handed, with the F12 Berlinetta’s 6.3-litre V12 winning the ‘best performance engine’ and ‘above 4.0-litre’ gongs.

The 458 Italia/Spider’s 4.5-litre V8 finished second in the performance engine stakes, narrowly ahead of the McLaren MP4-12C’s 3.8-litre V8 – an engine that was the undisputed standout in the 3.0-4.0-litre class and can propel the British supercar to 333km/h.

The Audi 2.5 five-cylinder turbo claimed the 2.0-2.5-litre category (ahead of Mazda’s acclaimed 2.2-litre SkyActiv diesel), while Porsche topped the 2.5-3.0 class with the silky 2.7 boxer used in Boxster and Cayman.

While all of this year’s awards were won by petrol engines, the program did recognise 10 diesels, three hybrids and even the all-electric powertrain developed by Tesla Motors in runner-up places.

Each year the panel of international journalists and experts assess the entrants based on fuel efficiency, smoothness, performance, noise/sound and driveability.

To qualify for this year’s awards, an engine had to have been installed in a vehicle on sale in more than one country as of this month.

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