Watch the International Engine of the Year
Awards 2016 highlights

International Engine of the Year 2016 Review

Sub 1-Litre


Ford 998cc three-cylinder turbo
(Ford Fiesta, B-Max, Focus, C-Max, Grand C-Max (100ps, 125ps), Fiesta Red/Black (140ps), Mondeo, EcoSport (125ps), Tourneo Connect / Courier (100ps))
Volkswagen 999cc three-cylinder turbo
(Audi A1 (95ps), Seat Leon, Volkswagen Golf (115ps), Volkswagen Up (90ps), Polo (95ps, 110ps), Seat Ibiza (85ps))
BMW 647cc two-cylinder electric-gasoline range-extender
(BMW i3 (170ps))
General Motors 999cc three-cylinder turbo
(Opel Adam, Corsa (90ps, 115ps), Astra (105ps))
Fiat Chrysler 875cc two-cylinder turbo
(Fiat 500 (80ps, 85ps, 105ps), Panda (85ps), Alfa Romeo Mito, Fiat 500L, Punto (105ps), Lancia Ypsilon (85ps))
Renault / Nissan 898cc three-cylinder turbo
(Renault Clio, Captur, Twingo, Dacia Sandero, Logan MCV, Smart Fortwo, Forfour (90ps))

Winner's Interview



Ford has now won this award five years running


In the EcoSport, the three-cylinder pumps 140ps


The engine block fits on to a sheet of A4 paper


The 1.0 EcoBoost now powers eight applications

❝ Other car makers keep new turbo triples coming, but this particular no-longer-young 1.0 three-cylinder marvel remains the one to beat on all engineering levels ❞

John Carey, freelance journalist


Technical Specification
Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost

  • engine capacity: 998cc
  • number of cylinders: 3
  • power output: 125ps
  • bore x stroke: 71.9 x 82mm
  • compression ratio: 10:1
Despite losing its grip on the coveted International Engine of the Year Award last year to BMW’s revolutionary 1.5-litre three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid powertrain, Ford’s dominance of the ever-growing sub 1-litre category class showed no signs of diminishing when its now-renowned 1.0 EcoBoost motor picked up the trophy for the fifth consecutive year.

Also representing the Blue Oval’s ninth overall victory at these awards, the turbocharged three-pot block put its rivals to the sword with relative ease, trumping VW’s resurgent 999cc three-cylinder turbo to the crown by a comprehensive 125 points.

That the EcoBoost has again cemented itself as the outstanding powertrain in this category is a testament to Ford’s engineering know-how, which, since the engine debuted in 2012, has proven to be way ahead of its time. Tellingly, the trailblazing engine now powers eight Ford applications, from the three-door Fiesta up to Grand C-Max, and most recently the new Mondeo.

“Despite lots of competitors recently launching their own three-cylinder turbocharged designs, Ford’s wonderful 1.0 EcoBoost is still the number-one engine in its category class,” enthused La Repubblica’s Massimo Nascimbene, while L’Automobile Magazine’s Christophe Congrega marvelled at the tiny unit’s unparalleled capability: “With high torque at the very low end, this high-tech three-cylinder turbo provides the driving performance of a small turbo diesel, but without any of the noise or vibration. It may be small, but the EcoBoost is one of the great engineering achievements of its time.”

Indeed, delivering performance to rival a conventional 1.6-litre engine (it develops an impressive 125ps and 170Nm of peak torque from 1,300 to 4,500rpm), yet boasting significantly improved fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions (114g/km), the 1-litre EcoBoost is a modern-day classic that, five years down the line, continues to defy the odds. Could trophy 10 be 12 months away?