Vijay Pattni14 June 2012

Ford wins Engine of the Year

Diddy 1.0-litre takes top honours, while Ferrari V8 takes Best Performance Engine

Here's a piece of fact that will impress your inner engineer/repel women/cause spontaneous apnoea: the block on Ford's 1.0-litre three-pot petrol engine is the same length as a sheet of A4 paper!

This is important, because this diddy little engine has just won the 2012 International Engine of the Year award.

The panel voted for the tiny engine over its competition from BMW, Ferrari and Volkswagen, noting the excellence of its engineering. When we drove it, we rather liked it too, as TG's Paul Horrell noted: "It's far better to drive [than the old Focus engines] because it's quieter, more characterful and torquier. What's not to like?"

It also won in the Sub 1.0-litre and Best New Engine categories. Elsewhere, BMW won with its 1.6-litre turbo petrol (1.4 to 1.8-litre), the 2.0-litre turbo (1.8 to 2.0-litre), the 3.0-litre twin-turbo sixer (2.5 to 3.0-litre) and the 4.0-litre V8 in the M3 (3 to 4.0-litre). Audi scooped the best 2 to 2.5-litre category with its excellent 2.5-litre turbocharged five-pot in the RS3, and Volkswagen won with its twin-charged 1.4-litre petrol unit (1 to 1.4-litre).

On one opposite of the scale, GM won the Best Green Engine with the 1.4-litre range-extender fitted to the Volt and Ampera.

And on the other end of the scale? An engine that led TG's Tom Ford to proclaim: "The noise doesn't so much filter its way in through the medium of your ears, but explode bomb-like in the centre of your head, splashing white-hot sonic shrapnel against the back of your eyes. It's so loud and penetrating it stings."

The winner of the Best Performance Engine category goes to Ferrari's 4.5-litre V8.

Outrun: Top Gear drives the Ferrari 458 Spider

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