Watch the International Engine of the Year
Awards 2019 highlights

International Engine of the Year 2019 Review

Best Hybrid Powertrain


Results

ENGINE POINTS
WINNER! - BMW 1.5-litre three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid
(BMW i8)
233
Porsche 4-litre turbo V8 electric-gasoline hybrid
(Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid)
138
Toyota / Lexus 1.8-litre electric-gasoline hybrid
(Toyota CH-R, Prius, Lexus CT, Daihatsu Mebius)
122
Volvo 2-litre turbocharger supercharger electric-gasoline hybrid
(Volvo XC90, S90, V90, XC60)
109
Toyota / Lexus 2.5-litre electric-gasoline hybrid
(Toyota Rav4, Lexus ES)
104
Porsche 3-litre electric-gasoline hybrid
(Porsche Panamera Plug-In, Cayenne Plug-In, Bentley Bentayga Plug-In, Audi A8 Plug-In)
100

Winner's Video

Winner's Interview

Cars

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BMW WINS THE INAUGURAL HYBRID POWERTRAIN TITLE

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THE 1.5-LITRE HYBRID HEART WAS REVAMPED IN 2018

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BMW’S HYBRID POWERTRAIN NOW PRODUCES 374PS

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THE GERMAN OEM’S ICE HYBRID FIRST WON IN 2014

❝ Once again, BMW has demonstrated that it’s possible to generate incredible performance and efficiency from a sophisticated hybrid drivetrain ❞

Dean Slavnich, International Engine + Powertrain of the Year Awards

Review

Technical Specification
BMW i8

  • engine capacity: 1,499cc
  • number of cylinders: 3
  • power output: 231PS (ICE); 141PS (e-motor)
  • bore x stroke : 82 x 94.6mm
  • compression ratio: 9.5:1
The electric-gasoline hybrid system at the heart of BMW’s i8 Roadster and Coupe first impressed Awards judges back in 2014 when it not only won its category class, but also scooped the overall prize for the best powertrain of the year. The 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit has remained at the forefront of its category ever since, picking up trophies every year. In 2019 the combination of a turbocharged triple powering the rear wheels and an electric motor sending power to the front has remained as popular as ever with the International Engine + Powertrain of the Year panel, which has judged it this year’s very best hybrid powertrain.

“BMW has managed to transform a ‘humble’ 1.5-litre engine into a super-performer,” noted juror Nikos Kounitis. “The resulting drivetrain can easily outperform conventional engines with larger displacements in almost every aspect.”

Revamped during 2018 with an increased energy capacity lithium-ion battery (upgraded from 7.1kWh to 11.6kWh), the i8’s powertrain produces a total system output of 374ps. The turbocharged ICE contributes 231ps, while the e-motor produces 143ps, providing the i8’s LifeDrive architecture (aluminium chassis and high-strength carbon-fibre passenger compartment) with supercar-like performance. With peak engine torque of 320Nm at 3,700rpm and e-motor torque of 250Nm, the i8 will race from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in 4.4 seconds and top out at 155mph (250km/h). However, the intelligent management of petrol and electric power means that the car emits just 46g/km of CO2 (combined), and can boast consumption figures of 2.0 l/100km. What’s more, in EV mode the i8 can provide 33 miles (53km) of electric range.

Teknikens Värld’s Hans Hedberg, a judge from Sweden, described the i8’s powertrain as “both efficient and fun to drive”, while Automobil Revue’s Tomas Hyan from the Czech Republic commented that it was “the best combination of power from the smallest cylinder capacity and an electric engine”.