2019 Engine of the year

Ferrari’s great eight – 488’s twin-turbo V8 continues its dominance of the International Engine of the Year Awards.


ENGINE OF THE YEAR by JORDAN KATSIANIS


The results of the 2019 international Engine and Powertrain of the Year awards have been announced, and despite a complete overhaul of the categories, Ferrari’s 3902cc twin-turbocharged flat-plane-crank V8 – as fitted throughout the Ferrari 488 range – was the overall winner yet again, making it four years on the trot. Not only did the F154 V8 win the main title, but two versions of it also won their respective-power-bracket categories (the other being the 3855cc derivative found in the Portofino and GTC4 Lusso T).

So substantial were the changes to the categories this year that the awards adopted a new title – the ‘and Powertrain’ bit making its debut to more accurately represent the inclusion of electrified powertrains. The main categories are now broken into blocks of 100 metric horsepower each, rather than being based on displacement, and are bookended by ‘under 150 PS’ (148bhp) and ‘over 650 PS’ (641bhp). Powertrains are eligible irrespective of their propulsion method, be it petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric. Subsidiary categories remain, too, with ‘best new engine’, ‘best performance engine’ and ‘best electric and hybrid powertrain’ awards still present.

Some of this year’s power-class winners included Ford’s 999cc three-cylinder EcoBoost engine (under 150 PS), Audi’s EA888 2-litre turbocharged four- cylinder from the TT, VW Golf GTI, etc (150-250 PS), and AMG’s 4-litre hot-V V8, as fitted in numerous AMGs and now Aston Martins too (450-550 PS). Meanwhile, the E400 electric powertrain from the Jaguar I-Pace won the 350-450 PS prize, plus ‘best electric powertrain’ and ‘best new engine’, and finished second overall to Ferrari’s V8.

Ferrari actually took a one-two finish in the ‘best performance engine’ category, with its 6.5-litre V12, as seen in the 812 Superfast, finishing second to the 488’s F154. Porsche’s 4-litre flat-six from the GT3 finished third, followed by AMG’s 4-litre V8, McLaren’s 4-litre twin-turbo V8 and Audi’s 5.2-litre V10 (Audi R8, Lamborghini Huracan). An interesting development was the even split between naturally aspirated and forced-induction engines in this category, proving that even considering the awards’ general lean towards innovation rather than driving experience, a well-executed naturally aspirated internal combustion engine still has a place in 2019.

But there were also some category winners that had us scratching our heads in the Drive-My office, such as Porsche’s 250-350 PS win with its rather unpleasant 2.5-litre turbocharged flat-four from the 718 Boxster and Cayman. Other notable omissions were Audi’s 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder petrol, and Mercedes-AMG’s impressive new 3-litre straight-six, as found in its latest E53 and CLS53 models.

As internal combustion and electric powertrains continue to diversify, and manufacturers And different solutions to changing legislation and increased pressure to lower fleet CO2 averages, it comes as little surprise to see a realignment of the international engine awards to better represent the larger spread of new powertrains. With development of electric powertrains accelerating as quickly as they are, it’s unlikely to be long before an EV takes the top prize.


Ferrari Tipo F154 V8

Ferrari Tipo F154 V8 Below: Ferrari’s 3902cc V8 engine of the year powers the 488 range, including the Pista (above)

INTERNATIONAL ENGINE AND POWERTRAIN OF THE YEAR 2019 (MAIN CATEGORY RESULTS)

1 Ferrari Tipo F154 V8, 3902cc, twin-turbo petrol

2 Jaguar Land Rover E400 Full-electric powertrain

3 Mercedes-AMG M177/M178 V8, 3982cc, twin-turbo petrol

4 Porsche MA2.22 Flat-four, 2497cc, turbo petrol

5 Audi EA888 In-line 4-cyl,1984cc, turbo petrol

6 Ford 1.0-litre EcoBoost In-line 3-cyI, 999cc, turbo petrol

7 Ferrari Tipo F154 V8, 3855cc, twin-turbo petrol

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