Voting preferences for the International Engine of the Year Awards 2013

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It’s that time of year when 87 of the world’s most respected motoring journalists decide who makes the best powertrains. The results will be announced at Engine Expo – held in Stuttgart from June 4-6 – but I’ve decided to make public the quotes I must provide to justify each winning selection that I personally make. It’s possible I’m in a club of one, so don’t read too much into how I may have affected the overall result!

Green engine: “I wanted to refuse to vote for anything in this category, but instead I’ve ignored all EVs and hybrids. I hate them. The Golf four-pot-come-two-pot is nice. Pleasant. Inoffensive. Er, Golf-like!”

New engine: “Of the 27 engines launched over the past 12 months, 11 are either EVs or hybrids. That statistic suggests that some 40% of the world’s population want one of the polluting things. They don’t. The hemp-wearing unwashed riding a bicycle with a chip-fat-lubricated chain like them, but then they probably believe in witches; that CO2 is destroying the ozone layer; that anyone earning over US$75k a year is rich; and other such nonsense. What folk want is 750ps. They might not know that they want it, but then they haven’t tried it yet.”

Performance engine: “The most relevant category because living is about enjoying oneself. The Ferrari 6.3-liter V12 heart burns lots of natural resources in a hugely rewarding fashion. You feel alive when listening to it, let alone feeling its strength. Or you could go from A to B in a beige Prius.”

Sub 1-liter: “It’s got to be Ford’s 1-liter turbo. Its greatest achievement is that the masses – the uneducated consumer – is actually buying the concept.”

1-liter to 1.4-liter: “How weird is it that this is now arguably the most interesting category, with numerous engineering triumphs to choose from? When we launched these Awards in 1999, all the clever stuff had at least 2 liters. My winner is one of the greatest ever made: VW’s 1.4-liter Twincharger.”

1.4-liter to 1.8-liter: “The company with the most talented dynamics team now makes some of the world’s best engines too. The 1.6-liter turbo is another brilliant EcoBoost offering. I love this second turbo era.”

1.8-liter to 2-liter: “Another great Ford. This 2-liter sounds great and has explosive power. The Focus ST’s front wheels can’t cope, but who cares?!”

2-liter to 2.5-liter: “What a terrible category! There’s really only one engine worth voting for. At least my Audi 2.5-liter winner is interesting enough to have five holes in which to burn gasoline.”

2.5-liter to 3-liter: “BMW has dominated this category with its straight-sixes, but I’ve never voted for them. The engines are good, but good is not good enough. There’s little in this category that’s worthy, so it’s tactical voting from me. I have nothing to say about my ‘winner’.”

3-liter to 4-liter: “The McLaren. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will win, but it is utterly usable on the road. My guess is Porsche will win. Its 3.4-liter is good – very good – but that’s a bit like saying vanilla milkshakes are good, i.e. there’s no such thing as a bad vanilla milkshake.”

Above 4-liter: “A Ferrari will win (nothing wrong with that), but I love Audi’s V12 TDi engine for the fact it made production. The concept makes no sense whatsoever!”

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