What qualities are required for an engine to be considered the best-of-the-best in today's world? Naturally, any given engine needs to make enough power for its intended application, but fuel efficiency is just as important in modern society. This being the case, it's not terribly surprising that Volkswagen's innovative 1.4-liter Twincharger engine has taken home top honors as the 2009 International Engine of the Year, beating out BMW's powerful 3.0-liter direct-injected twin-turbo six-cylinder powerplant by just four points.

The Engie of the Year award is handed out based on the voting results of 65 motor scribes polled from all around the globe. Some 32 countries are represented in the jury, including the U.S., Germany, Japan, China, the U.K., and Korea.

To go along with its Engine of the Year award, VW's supercharged and turbocharged mill also won the Green Engine of the Year trophy – beating out Honda's 1.3-liter IMA hybrid powertrain in the process – and also took the nod in its 1.0-1.4-liter size class. Here's a list of the rest of the award winners:
  • Best New Engine - Porsche's 3.8-liter 385bhp flat-six
  • Best Performance Engine - Mercedes-AMG 6.2-liter V8
  • Sub 1-liter - Toyota 1-liter three-cylinder
  • 1.8-2.0L - Audi 2-liter TFSI
  • 2.0L-2.5L - Mercedes-Benz Diesel 2.1-litre BlueEfficiency
  • 2.5L-3.9L - BMW 3-liter DI Twin Turbo
  • 3.0L-4.0L - BMW 4-liter V8
  • Above 4.0L - Mercedes-AMG 6.2-liter V8
[Source: International Engine of the Year Awards]