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JLR triple glory at Engine of the Year awards

I-Pace powertrain beats ICE engines, one Ferrari V8 wins two categories, Ford triumphant again - it's all drama at IEPOTY

By Matt Bird / Thursday, May 23, 2019

The International Engine and Powertrain of the Year Awards sounds like a fantastic ceremony, at least for those who consider themselves massive nerds - so it's right up our street. While the push to EV powertrains continues at a frightening pace - more on that in a second - good exponents of suck-squeeze-bang-blow are still plentiful, and rightly celebrated.

The 2019 awards saw a few surprises, and a few predictable results. Perhaps the biggest surprise came in the 350hp-450hp category - what we'd like to think of as the 1,500m in IEPOTY; a fair achievement, but nothing anyone is excited about - where Jaguar won for the electric powertrain found in the I-Pace. Not only did it beat the Porsche 3.0-litre flat-six (recently overhauled for the 992) and BMW's ferocious twin-turbo straight-six from the M3 and M4, it also was voted above hybrid powertrains like the new Mercedes '53' electrified straight-six and BMW's i8 unit. No mean feat, especially given it won best EV powertrain and best new engine also.

Ford yet again scooped an award for its wonderful 999cc turbo triple - the 11th prize for the engine since its 2012 introduction - triumphant in the sub-150hp category ahead of the Mini Cooper 1.5, the PSA 1.2 turbo triple and Toyota's 1.8 petrol-electric hybrid. In the 150-250hp category, the EA888 seemingly found in every other car on the road - or, most notably, the Golf GTI - was victorious, though interestingly the Ford Fiesta ST's Ecoboost 1.5 did secure third place.

In the 250hp-350hp sector, Porsche's 2.5 flat-four led the pack ahead of BMW (the 3.0-litre B58), the more powerful EA888 (seriously) and Honda's Civic Type R 2.0-litre unit. Rumours of a Kanye-West-at-the-VMAs-style stage outburst by VW fans go unsubstantiated. We have been saying that four-cylinder turbo is good, despite the noise...

With Jag having sewn up the next category, it was Mercedes-AMG that took the 450-550hp gong; some achievement, when you consider that both Porsche's exceptional 4.0-litre flat-six and FCA's effervescent 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 were also eligible - they finished second and fifth respectively.

Then it's all about Ferrari: in 550-650hp, the Portofino and GTC4 Lusso T spec of 3.9 V8 took the honours, then in 650hp and above it was the 488 derivative of the same engine awarded the gold star. The 812 Superfast V12 was second in that class, too - nice work Ferrari. Notable also rans in the two most senior categories included McLaren's 4.0-litre V8, Lamborghini's V12 and the Audi R8 V10.

Congratulations, then, to all the winners. So what if you fancy owning an award-winning engine? The PH classifieds is full of them, with whole cars around them to boot. Highlights? This C63 estate is the lower powered version of the V8, but looks great in Hyacinth Red, and is less than £40k; this Cayman S is one of precious few manuals, and really suits Sapphire Blue with silver wheels; this Ferrari GTC4 LussoT is in special Zeltweg Green paint; this I-Pace is one of quite a few less than £60k; this lovely 488 GTB is one of the more affordable - and notable for not being red - and, last but by no means least, this Fiesta Zetec S uses the most powerful version of that incredible 1.0-litre three-cylinder - it's yours for £7k. Phew. Get 2020's ceremony in your calendars now...

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