Watch the International Engine of the Year
Awards 2017 highlights

International Engine of the Year 2017 Review

1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre


BMW 1.5-litre three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid
(BMW i8)
BMW 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo
(BMW 1 Series, 2 Series, 3 Series, X1, Mini Cooper, Clubman Cooper, Clubman One, Countryman)
Audi 1.8-litre TFSI
(Volkswagen Jetta, Polo GTI, Beetle, Passat, Golf, Audi A3)
Volkswagen 1.5 TSI Evo
(Volkswagen Golf, Seat Ibiza)
BMW/PSA Peugeot Citroen 1.6-litre turbo
(Mini Countryman, Countryman S, Paceman, Paceman S, Countryman Cooper Works, Paceman Cooper Works, Peugeot 208, 308, 3008, 208 GTI, 308 GTI, Citroen DS3, DS3 Racing, DS4, DS5)
BMW 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel
(BMW 1 Series, 2 Series, Mini One D, Cooper D, Clubman One D)

Winner's Interview



BMW has secured a hat trick of class victories


i8’s eDRIVE offers supercar-esque performance


PHEV develops 372ps and tops out at 250km/h


A BMW engine has won this category 12 times

❝ It’s a spectacular engine, despite it’s puny dimensions. If you didn’t know it was a 1.5-litre unit boosted by electricity, you’d swear it was a 3-litre flat-six. Its brilliance comes from its seemless application of technology ❞

Graham Johnson, Co-chairman, International Engine of the Year Awards


Technical Specification
BMW i8

  • Engine Capacity: 1,499cc
  • Number of Cylinders: 3
  • Power Output: 231ps / 141ps (e-motor)
  • Bore x Stroke: 82 x 94.5mm
  • Compression Ratio: 9.5:1
Joining Toyota’s 1.5-litre Hybrid Synergy Drive as a three-time winner in this category, BMW’s stunning 1.5-litre three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid powertrain remains as remarkable a feat of engineering today as it was when it was launched in 2015 in the German OEM’s ‘Project i’ halo product, the i8.

When the numbers are crunched it’s easy to understand why the gorgeously futuristic-looking i8 has developed into the world’s highest-selling plug-in hybrid sports car.

The eDrive technology, which sees a 231ps 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo internal combustion engine driving the rear wheels and a 141ps electric motor driving the fronts, offers not only supercar-esque performance levels (0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds) but also ridiculously high fuel economy (2.1 l/100km) and phenomenally low CO2 output (49g/km). It also tops out at 250km/h and possesses an anxiety-free combined range of 500km when driven in comfort mode.

Aiding all those world-beating metrics is a low vehicle weight of 1,485kg and a low drag coefficient of 0.26. In all-electric mode the Benoit Jacob-designed i8 has a top speed of 120km/h, while a 7.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack with a usable capacity of 5.2kWh and intelligent energy management delivers an all-electric range of 37km under the NEDC cycle. In Sport mode mid-range acceleration from 80-120km/h is delivered in just 2.6 seconds.

The judges were effusive in their admiration for the innovative powertrain, with Mexican automotive journalist Sergio Oliveira de Melo commenting, “It’s eco-friendly, fast and it even sounds great”, while Halit Bolkan, editor-in-chief of Turkish outlet Otohaber Magazine, believes it’s a trendsetting engine thanks to its demonstration of the “huge potential of electricity and three cylinders” working in tandem. Likewise, Motorshow’s Padraic Deane called it “a remarkable standout engine that ticks all the boxes”.