The 2019 Engine Awards has both, and then some. For one, the title is now “International Engine and Powertrain of the Year Awards.” This addresses the fact that propulsion is changing, and that the transmissions are an increasingly key component in how the engineers and the judges design and assess vehicles. Additionally, because of electrics and hybrids and technological development the lines all blur. It wasn’t working that a BMW i8 with its 1.5-liter engine went up against a similar displacement eco-car. So another change is that classes are based on power output, PS, because the Awards body is based in the United Kingdom perhaps.
So, who had sweeps? The big Italian. Ferrari took the fourth straight overall win, the International Engine + Powertrain of the Year 2019 with their wonderful 3.9-liter bi-turbo V8. Four years straight is record-braking and we probably won’t see a streak like that again. They also took other wins, including the Best Performance Engine Award and the “Above 650 PS Class” Award. Interestingly, it beat out its bigger sibling, the 6.5-liter V12 from the Ferrari 812 Superfast, in both those other categories.
The next big winner took second in the Overall Award but placed first elsewhere. The Jaguar Land Rover full-electric powertrain from the Jaguar I-Pace won the Best New Engine Award and the Best Electric Powertrain Award, as well as the “350PS to 450PS Class” Award. Three wins and a good second – very impressive for a group not always looked at as being part of the bleeding edge of technology. Very well done.
Hybrids get their own class, and the title Best Hybrid Powertrain went to the BMW 1.5-liter three-cylinder electric-gasoline hybrid used in the i8.
The rest of the power class awards clearly show that passion and enthusiastic driving are still very important. The “450PS to 550PS Class” Award went to the Mercedes-AMG 4-liter bi-turbo V8 that appears in a wide range of soul-stirring cars from the Mercedes-AMG GT S and the Maybach S to the Aston Martin Vantage and DB11.
The “250PS to 350PS Class” Award was tight, with the Porsche 2.5-liter Turbo from their 718 S Boxsters and Caymans narrowly beating the BMW 3-Liter twin-turbo straight six.
The “150PS to 250PS Class” win was also a pretty tight race, with the Audi 2-liter TFSI from the TT and the various As and Qs shutting down yet another BMW contender.
The littlest motor group, the “Sub 150PS Class” Award went once again to the Ford 999cc three-cylinder turbo. This power plant has taken 11 awards in eight years, which is an indication of both how groundbreaking it was at the time as well as how much (or how little) attention that class is getting in general.
So clearly, some things change, and some things stay the same. The Jaguar Land Rover full-electric powertrain was a surprise win in a close fight; the Ferrari motors continued their sporting dominance. The Porsche win was for the engines not from the 911s but from the 718 S models. Again, though, we are happy to see that enthusiastic drives and sporty power plants are leading the way across the board. Wonderful signs for the gearhead future.