By on June 18, 2015

2015 BMW i8

The BMW i8’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder PHEV unit is the winner of this year’s International Engine of the Year award, beating out Ford by seven points in voting.

In addition to taking the overall prize, the 1.5-liter also took home the top prizes in the New Engine and 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre categories, while falling short of beating Tesla for the Green Engine category. BMW also took home the top prize in the 2.5-Litre to 3-Litre category with the 3.0-liter twin-turbo six under the bonnets of the M3 and M4.

Other winners include Ford’s 999cc turbo-three (Sub 1-Litre), PSA Peugeot Citroen’s 1.2-liter turbo-three (1-Litre to 1.4-Litre), the Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre in the CLA45/GLA45 (1.8-Litre to 2-Litre), Audi’s 2.5-liter turbo-five (2-Litre to 2.5-Litre), McLaren’s 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 (3-Litre to 4-Litre), and the Ferrari 4.5-liter V8 (Above 4-Litre, Performance Engine).

Among the American manufacturers, Tesla also placed sixth in the overall category, while Ford scored fifth, third and fifth respectively in the 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre, 2-Litre to 2.5-Litre, and Green Engine categories. FCA took home sixth in both Above 4-Litre and Performance Engine categories with its 6.2-liter Hellcat V8s, as well as fifth in the Sub 1-Litre category (GM’s Opel took second), and sixth in the 1.4-Litre to 1.8-Litre category.

(Photo credit: domantasm./Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

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21 Comments on “BMW i8 PHEV Unit Wins 2015 International Engine of the Year Award...”


  • avatar
    darex

    So, in other words, the base engine in the F56 MINI Cooper. Why not just say that?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I see the photo, and realize I’ve never yet seen an i8 in person, and I want to! (Have seen many i3 models already. And they’re nice, except in orange.)

    But would I be just as pleased with a midnight shot of a dark green 850Ci? Si.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    This marks the 7th year out of the 16 years of the award that BMW has taken it home.

    It also means they can put it on the shelf next to the award for the S85B50 5.0 V10.

    (FYI, this is actually a mostly legitimate engineering award, and not just industry gladhanding.)

  • avatar

    I’ve driven the White i8 and the Blue i8. I don’t understand why this car would possibly win an engine award over the HELLCAT. The more you actually learn about the i8, the more ridiculous a proposition it becomes. It’s ONLY saving grace is the exterior design – which is probably why it won in the first place.

    There’s a reason BMW is willing to lend you regular I.C.E cars if you buy an i8 or an i3. These cars ARE NOT the end-all solutions.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The i3 with REX is dangerous when the REX gives up the ghost. Having driven one, it’s also really small inside. Captured rear doors ought to be banned by the NHTSA.

      As for the i8, it isn’t meant to be practical, but it’s tops for the cool factor.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      The BMW 1.5L won the overall award over several other global engines. The Hellcat engine wasn’t even in the top 9, although it was voted 6th in the Over 4.0L and the Performance categories. Clearly the panel of judges didn’t think very highly of the FCA supercharged 6.2L.

      I don’t understand what you mean by “BMW is willing to lend you regular I.C.E cars if you buy an i8 or an i3”. No, the i3 and i8 are not the “end-all” solution, but they are closer to it than a large supercharged V8.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      “I don’t understand why this car would possibly win an engine award over the HELLCAT”

      Simple. The 1.5 is a marvel of engine design while the Hellcat, cool as it may be, is an OHV cast iron block boat anchor with a supercharger bolted to it. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but its hardly a technology showcase.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    From what I can tell, only the PHEV version took the three prizes. The normal one took 4th in the 1.4-1.8 category, one place behind its old Prince stablemate. I have one of the normal 3cyls, and I quite like it, but looking at the parts diagrams, I’d say it’s maybe 70% the same as the i8 one, and down almost 100hp in the process.

  • avatar
    statikboy

    Somehow Tesla won an engine category without putting an engine in their cars?

  • avatar

    Is there any substance to these awards, or is it all just an exercise to generate meaningless “news”?

    And if there is substance, what exactly is it?

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      It’s an industry-specific engineering award. Substance is what you make it – at least there is considerably less marketable bullshit than in they typical ‘Car of the Year’ crap.

      You won’t typically hear “This car has the WORLD ENGINE OF THE YEAR!” when you’re at the dealership.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Our man Dobes says the new 1.0l turbo triple in the Opel Adam is nicer than the Ford unit. Who am I to doubt him? he seems sensible enough. The Ford has been around for years and yet is still winning the awards, the GM is brand new and is overlooked except as second in non-turbo.

    Never thought much of this European (inyernational) award. Europeans have less knowledge of US designs than vice versa. I bet those judges haven’t even heard of the Ford 2.7TT V6, so how could it get an award? It’ll also be made in vastly greater quantities than these “winners”, and has a superb design and execution.

    Toyota’s new series of engines is similar to the four cylinder versions of GM’s new small Ecotecs. No mention. Mazda SkyActiv gets better real world mileage than most Euro gas engines which languish with turbos. And on and on.

    Of course, America retaliates with the Ward’s engine awards, where Americans show little knowledge of Euro engines but more of Japanese ones, but is not so hidebound as the “International” (Euros crowning themselves as the only internationals naturally).

    So it evens out a bit overall. That’s if you believe in lists in the first place.


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