Every year, a group of automotive enthusiasts come together and are presented with a list of today's most highly rated engines. After sorting through the data, the group then decides which among them can be considered the best. For 2009, the title of International Engine of the Year goes to the 1.4 liter Twincharger manufactured by BMW.
The panel of judges is comprised of 65 automotive journalists from 32 different countries. Each engine is scored based a predetermined set of criteria and then pitted against powerplants of a similar class. The 1.4 liter BMW engine was also recognized as the Green Engine of the Year along with a gold medal in the 1.0 liter to 1.4 liter class.
What makes the 1.4L such a well suited engine is the use of both a turbocharger and a supercharger. Together, the forced induction systems provide ample power at all engine speeds, therefore eliminating the need for a larger engine. The twin charger system is also mostly responsible for producing a maximum of 178 horsepower and 177lb/ft.
Even more enticing is the 45.5 mpg average the 1.4L is able to return, thanks to how efficiently combustion occurs and how much power is available at slower engine speeds.
Along with the three previously mentioned awards, several others were given out based on varying criteria. A full list is available at the Engine of the Year Homepage.