Watch the International Engine of the Year
Awards 2016 highlights

International Engine of the Year 2016 Review

1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre


Results

ENGINE POINTS
BMW 1.5-litre three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid
(BMW i8 (362ps))
260
BMW 1.5-litre turbo
(BMW 116i (109ps), 118i (136ps), 218i, 218i Active Tourer, 318i (136ps), X1 18i (150ps), Mini Cooper, Clubman Cooper (136ps), Clubman One (102ps))
152
Audi 1.8-litre TFSI
(Audi A1 (192ps), A3 (180ps), A5 (144ps), A6 (190ps), Seat Ibiza Cupra (180ps), Leon (180ps), Skoda Octavia (180ps), Superb (160ps), Yeti (152ps, 160ps), Volkswagen Jetta, Beetle (170ps), Passat, Polo GTI, Golf, Touran / Cross Touran (180ps))
125
Toyota / Lexus 1.8-litre electric-gasoline hybrid
(Toyota Auris / Corolla, Prius / Plug-in Prius (122ps), Lexus CT 200h (136ps))
103
BMW/PSA Peugeot Citroen 1.6-litre turbo
(BMW 114i (102ps), 320i (170ps), Mini Countryman Cooper S, Paceman Cooper S (190ps), Countryman Cooper Works, Paceman Cooper Works (218ps), Peugeot 208, 308, 508, 3008 (156ps), 5008 (165ps), 208 GTI (208ps), 308 GT (205ps), Citroen DS3 (165ps), DS3 Racing (202ps), DS4 (165ps, 210ps), C4 Picasso / Grand Picasso (165ps), DS5 (165ps, 200ps))
94
Mercedes-Benz 1.6-litre turbo
(Mercedes-Benz A160, B160 (102ps), C160 (129ps), A180, CLA180, B180, GLA180 (122ps), A200, CLA200, B200, GLA200, C180 (156ps), Infinti Q30 (122ps, 156ps))
54

Winner's Interview

Cars

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The i8 mixes 363ps with ultra-high fuel economy

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The front-axle mounted e-motor provides 132ps

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108 points separate first place from second

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The i8 secures its second category class win

❝ Who would ever have thought that a road-going 1.5-litre engine could provide such impressive performance? BMW’s i8 powertrain offers perfect synchronisation in a truly mind-blowing package ❞

Yogendra Pratap, freelance journalist

Review

Technical Specification
BMW i8

  • engine capacity: 1,499cc
  • number of cylinders: 3
  • power output: 231ps; 132ps (e-motor)
  • bore x stroke: 82 x 94.5mm
  • compression ratio: 9.5:1
Last year’s outright International Engine of the Year Award winner has again picked up its category class, with the stunning 1.5-litre three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid powertrain housed inside the BMW i8 being regarded by many judges as being one of the most revolutionary feats in automotive engineering.

While an environmentally friendly supercar may sound oxymoronic, the i8 breaks all convention to achieve exactly that. In what may just be remembered in years to come as the powertrain configuration that redefined what a supercar is capable of being, the i8 combines a 228ps IC engine that drives the rear wheels with a 132ps electric motor powering the front axle and a 7.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

And thanks to the low vehicle weight of 1,485kg – courtesy of the thermoplastic polymer outer skin – the head-turning plug-in hybrid racer achieves truly groundbreaking performance and efficiency, boasting a total power output of 363ps, 570Nm of torque, 0-100km/h (62mph) acceleration of just 4.4 seconds and a miraculous 2.1l/100km (134.5mpg) fuel efficiency rating. And while the i8’s 256km/h (160mph) top speed may restrict it from competing with the Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens of this world, it still packs enough of a V8-esque punch to give a Porsche 911 or an Audi R8 a decent run for their money.

“Delivering both performance and character, while achieving high efficiency and environmental targets, makes this development a true 21st century automotive power unit,” said Matt Joy, Press Association, while Motor Trend’s Frank Markus perhaps best described the appeal of this remarkable powertrain: “Seldom does such a small engine manage to feel and sound so big.”

That the very same IC engine finished second in its class speaks volumes for the sheer ingenuity that BMW continues to display. Don’t be surprised if the same is said in 2017.