BMW has once again dominated the prestigious International Engine of the Year Awards. Officially the most successful manufacturer in the event’s five year history, BMW’s latest honours came in the 1.4-1.8-litre, 2.0-2.5-litre and 3.0-4.0-litre categories, taking the awards haul to 18 since the first event in 1999.
Commenting on the news, BMW (GB) managing director Jim O’Donnell said: ‘It will come as no surprise to BMW drivers that our engines have received further acclaim and confirms our reputation as a leader in engine technology – whether it is naturally aspirated or supercharged. What is particularly satisfying is the breadth of category wins, from the 2.5-litre engine powering the new Z4 and 5 Series models to the 1.6-litre unit at the heart of the MINI Cooper S.
He added: ‘Those eagerly awaiting the arrival of the M3 CSL will also be delighted that judges awarded its 3.2-litre engine best in class – the third year in a row that this engine has finished ahead of the field.’
1.4-litre to 1.8-litre - MINI Supercharged 1.6-litre (Cooper S)
Since its launch in 2001, the new MINI has taken many awards including North American Car of the Year in 2003. Now the Cooper S 1.6-litre supercharged engine has been recognised as the best in the 1.4-1.8 litre category.
Despite their love of all things big, North American judges in particular were wowed by the 1.6-litre’s combination of performance and efficiency. Nine out of 12 awarded the MINI points while 5 rated it top of its class.
Judge Marc Lachapelle, a writer for MSN Autos Canada, commented: ‘The Cooper S’s supercharger is quite endearing. It is marvellously flexible for its displacement and shows virtually no response lag, producing decent urge from 2,000 rpm and then linearly more up to the rev limit.’
2.0-litre to 2.5-litre – BMW 2.5-litre (325i, 525i, Z4)
BMW’s model line-up will be boosted with the arrival of the Z4 roadster from 19 June and all-new 5 Series from 18 September this year. Models featuring the 2.5-litre straight-six, will be powered by yet another award-winning engine, with the Z4 2.5i available at launch and the new 525i available in October.
Described by one judge as, ‘a great concept, masterfully improved’ the 2.5-litre, with its infinitely variable bi-VANOS valve timing, was awarded 152 points, 27 points ahead of its nearest rival. Almost half the entire panel of judges awarded points to this BMW unit.
3.0-litre to 4.0-litre, BMW 3.2 litre (M3)
Four of BMW’s 18 International Engine of the Year Awards have come courtesy of its powerful 3.2-litre M3 engine and 2003 is the third year in a row it has won its category. Judges awarded it 202 points, an incredible 93 points ahead of second-place Porsche’s 3.6-litre 911 GT3 unit.
As well as powering the high performance M3, a modified version of this engine will feature in the new M3 CSL, which arrives in the UK this summer.Published 4 June 2003