- Best New Engine of the Year: For best new engine, the jury selected the new Fiat 1.4-liter Multi-Air inline-four. The Multi-Air technology was developed Fiat as a mechanism to provide infinitely variable valve timing and lift control and it can be easily adapted to existing engines. Fiat has plans to add Multi-Air to most of Chrysler's engine lineup in the next couple of years.
- Best Performance Engine and Best Engine above 4.0-liters: In order to make a special car, you need to start with a special engine, and its hard to go far wrong with a high-revving V8. That's the path AMG chose when it decided to develop a new engine from the ground-up and the M156 6.2-liter V8 has been recognized as the best performance engine by the International Engine of the Year Awards.
The V8 is used in all of Mercedes-Benz' rear-wheel-drive AMG models, from the C63 to the SL and even its SUVs, with power output varying from 478 horsepower to over 525 depending on the application. A modified version is even used in the SLS AMG with 571 hp. In addition to the performance award, the M156 was also honored in the category for engines over 4.0-liters. Over the next few years, AMG will be phasing out this engine in favor of a new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 that will be even more powerful and fuel efficient. Here's hoping it doesn't lose its character in the process...
- 2.0- to 2.5-liters: The 2.5-liter TSI inline-five from the Audi TT-RS clearly demonstrates why most automakers are scrambling to develop turbocharged and direct injected engines. With a peak power delivery of 340 horsepower and a torque curve that flat-lines at 332 pound-feet all the way from 1,600 to over 5,000 rpm this engine slings the TT-RS to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds while returning 25.6 mpg.
- 2.5- to 3.0-liters: The BMW N54 has been one of our favorite engines ever since it debuted with 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It provides seamless power delivery from its perfectly balanced inline-six layout and uses two turbochargers to give quick response and torque everywhere. The N54 is being phased out of most applications this year in favor of an equally powerful N55 with a single twin-scroll turbo, direct injection and valvetronic for even better response and fuel efficiency.
- Overall best engine and best 1.0- to 1.4-liter: For several years now Volkswagen has offered a range of 1.4-liter TSI inline-fours in much of its European lineup. These boosted and direct injected engines deliver surprisingly robust torque for such small engines with great fuel economy. At the top of the range is the engine selected as overall best by the jury, the 1.4 TSI TwinCharger. While the lesser engines rely on just a turbocharger, this unit adds a mechanically driven supercharger to a larger turbocharger for an even broader response curve. The maximum output is 178 horsepower and combined fuel economy in the Golf is 38 mpg!