Engine of the Year Award 2009: BMW scores three awards with Four, Six and Eight Cylinders

News | June 17th, 2009 by 41
bmw biturbo011

With the risk of coming out as a brag, I have no choice but to say how proud I am that BMW has once again …

With the risk of coming out as a brag, I have no choice but to say how proud I am that BMW has once again proved why it’s one of the top automobile brands in the world and probably the top engine manufacturer.

The International Engine of the Year Awards feature 11 Awards categories and BMW was awarded three of them: 1.6 liter four-cylinder twin-scroll turbocharged engine in the MINI Cooper S, 3.0 liter straight-six TwinTurbo and 4.0 liter V8.

Once again, congratulations BMW and we look forward to the new three cylinder and six cylinder twin-scroll engines, and last but not least, the quad-turbo engine that we’ve been hearing about.

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Scoring outstanding wins in the three categories of the International Engine of the Year Award, the BMW Group once again highlights its top position this year as a manufacturer of particularly powerful and, at the same time, efficient engines. In the world’s most significant engine contest, the V8 power unit featured in the BMW M3, the straight-six with Twin Turbo Technology to be admired, among other models, in the BMW 3 Series, the BMW 1 Series and the BMW X6, as well as the four-cylinder twin-scroll turbocharged engine in the MINI Cooper S, have all scored triumphant victories in their respective classes.

The Awards were presented on 17 June 2009 at the Engine Expo in Stuttgart.
This triple victory continues the BMW Group’s story of success in the International Engine of the Year Award. In this contest held since 1999 BMW engines have brought home overall victory no less than six times, including the four last years in a row.

This year’s three winners once again thrilled the jury through their fascinating development of power as well as their up-to-date efficiency. This combination of such superior virtues is the result of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy characterising both the eight cylinder from BMW M GmbH, the straight-six from BMW, and the MINI four-cylinder.

In the engine category between 3.0 and 4.0 litres the V8 power unit featured in the BMW M3 successfully defended the title it had already won last year. Indeed, this 309 kW/420 hp 4.0-litre makes a substantial contribution to the success of BMW’s high-performance sports car in the market, now available in the guise of the BMW M3 Coupé, the BMW M3 Saloon, and the BMW M3 Convertible.

The 3.0-litre 225 kW/306 hp six-cylinder with Twin Turbo and High Precision Injection, in turn, this year dominates the engine category between 2.5 and 3.0 litres for the third time in a row.

Continuity has also been the name of the game in the engine category between 1.4 and 1.8 litres ever since the year 2007, with the 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit in the MINI Cooper S with its twin-scroll turbocharger, direct gasoline injection and maximum output of 128 kW/175 hp still setting the standard.

The decisions on the International Engine of the Year Award are taken by an international jury made up of renowned motoring journalists. This year the team of no less than 65 experts came from 32 countries, awarding prizes in eight engine classes based on size and in three special categories, as well as the special award for the overall winner.

In the eleven contests held so far since 1999, the BMW Group has already brought home more than 40 trophies. This ongoing success in the world’s most significant engine contest is impressive proof of the BMW Group’s unique competence the world over in the area of powertrain development.

41 responses to “Engine of the Year Award 2009: BMW scores three awards with Four, Six and Eight Cylinders”

  1. Parker Despain says:

    Congrats BMW. No wonder its in the name of the company.

  2. Giom says:

    Twice in a row for the 4.0 V8! I’m doubly impressed!

    Well done BMW!

  3. Lance says:

    Well done, BMW is the best!

  4. L1ndja says:

    Well done and keep it up.Those audi engines in the (TT-RS and S4-S6) are very very impressive but i hope that with a little upgrade of the I6 TT of bmw they can win it again.To the M3 there is nothing to say..simply one of the best engines ever to be produced..You know why ? it doesnt have a turbo thats why..Pure M power untill 8400rpm!

  5. kcsnayud says:

    oh yeah

    keep it up bmw but here is my suggestion to ya to be better

    READ BMW BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Babken says:

    Interesting. In 2008 BMW’s 3-litre twin turbo won the international engine of the year award by a wide margin. The most interesting part of the story is that VW’s 1.4-litre was also participating in 2008. And this year the judges gave the award to VW. There could be two explanations of this incident: either the judges are incompetent or they just wanted to end BMW’s dominance. In my point of view, both cases are true. It’s a shame they put VW’s engine above BMW’s. I just wonder how much mercedes paid them…

  7. Jordan says:

    Very impressive!! Gotta say I do love BMW haha

    If you look at the results, BMW is wayyy ahead of it’s competitors and in the 3.0litre class, it has finishes in 1st and 2nd place. Look how far away the no 2 position is in the 4.0litre category, and it’s a porsche engine!

    1. BMW 3-litre DI Twin Turbo (135, 335, X6, Z4, 730) 345
    2. BMW Diesel 3-litre Twin Turbo (335d, 535d, 635d, X3, X5, X6) 250
    3. Audi 3-litre DI Supercharged (S4) 125

    1. BMW 4-litre V8 (M3) 319
    2. Porsche 3.8-litre flat six DI (911) 156

  8. wazon says:

    As far I know, they didn’t consider 4.4 V8 applied in X6M. Maybe it would be the best performance engine, the best new engine and the best engine above 4.0 litre.

    What do you think about 6.2 litre AMG engine as the best performance engine and best engine above 4.0 litre? Wasn’t it apply in MB before 2009? Then, why didn’t they make it the best engine above 4.0 litre in 2008? And why did they change their mind concerning V10? How is it possible that without change one engine becomes better than other which won over first at least one time? I believe that these place should still go for V10 from M5 and M6 – the best naturally aspired engine I know. Eventually for brand new 4.4 V8 from X6M. Anyway, I consider some of decision as biased this time. I feel disappointed by their attitude this year; attitude which can by stressed in words: well, it’s enough of BMW dominance, make other engines the best ones, no matter that we assed them as worse than these of BMW’s year before.

  9. lmpinto says:

    BMW, simply the best!

  10. Gord says:

    Well its nice for BMW to win the award, but in the past BMW have won more awards at the International Engine Awards.

    In 2005 the M5’s V10 alone won 3 categories.

  11. Kelz says:



    Numerous technological innovations have been introduced on Mercedes-Benz automobiles throughout the many years of their production, including:

    * The first passenger road car to have brakes on all four wheels (1924) [36]

    * The “Safety cage” or “Safety cell” construction with front and rear crumple zones was first developed by Mercedes-Benz in 1951. This is considered by many as the most important innovation in automobile construction from a safety standpoint [37]

    * In 1959, Mercedes-Benz patented a device that prevents drive wheels from spinning by intervening at the engine, transmission, or brakes. In 1987, Mercedes-Benz applied its patent by introducing a Traction control system that worked under both braking and acceleration.

    * Anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control and airbags in the European market, were Mercedes-Benz innovations.[citation needed] These technologies were introduced in 1978, 1986, and 1980 respectively.

    * Mercedes-Benz was the first to introduce pre-tensioners to seat belts on the 1981 S-Class. In the event of a crash, a pre-tensioner will tighten the belt instantaneously, preventing the passenger from jerking forward in a crash.

    * In September 2003, Mercedes-Benz introduced the world’s first 7-speed automatic transmission called ‘7G-Tronic’.

    * Stability control, brake assist,[38] and many other types of safety equipment were all developed, tested, and implemented into passenger cars—first—by Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes-Benz has not made a large fuss about its innovations and has even licensed them for use by competitors—in the name of improving automobile and passenger safety – In fact, crumple zones and anti-lock brakes are now used on all modern luxury vehicles. [37]

    Mercedes M156 engine

    * The most powerful naturally-aspirated eight cylinder engine in the world is the Mercedes-AMG, 6208 cc M156 V8 engine. The V8 engine is badged ’63 AMG’ and replaced the ’55 AMG’ M113 engine in most models. The M156 engine produces up to 525 bhp (391 kW), and although some models using this engine do have this output (such as the S63 and CL63 AMGs) specific output varies slightly across other models in the range.[39]

    * The (W211) E320 CDI which has a (VTG) turbocharged, 3.0L V6 common rail diesel engine (producing 224-horsepower), set three world endurance records. It covered 100,000 miles (160,000 km) in a record time with an average speed of 224.823 km/h (140 mph). Three identical cars did the endurance run (one set above record) and the other two cars set world records for time taken to cover 100,000 km and 50,000 miles (80,000 km) respectively. After all three cars had completed the run their combined distance was 300,000 miles (480,000 km) (all records were FIA approved). [40]

    * Mercedes-Benz pioneered a system called Pre-Safe to detect an imminent crash and prepares the car’s safety systems to respond optimally. It also calculates the optimal braking force required to avoid an accident in emergency situations and makes it immediately available for when the driver depresses the brake pedal. Occupants are also prepared by tightening the seat belt, closing the sunroof and windows, and moving the seats into the optimal position.

    * Mercedes Benz developed a fatigue-detection system, known as Attention Assist that warns the driver when they are displaying signs of micro-sleep (when the eyes stay closed for slightly longer than a natural blinking action). The system will use a variety of data including the individual driving style, the duration of the journey, the time of day and the current traffic situation. Fatigue mostly sets in gradually.[41]

    * The fastest street-legal saloon car in the world is the Mercedes-Benz Brabus CLS Rocket (tuned) Mercedes-Benz CLS ‘CLS V12’ – based on the CLS-Class saloon.[citation needed]

    * Mercedes Benz invented the adaptive highbeam assist system which automatically and continuously adapts the headlamp range to the distance of vehicles ahead or which are oncoming. The new system continually adjusts the beam so that the headlamp cone falls just in front of other vehicles, at the same time always ensuring maximum possible range without dazzling other road users. The adaptive highbeam assist is introduced first in the new generation E-Class.

    Half a century of vehicle safety innovation helped win Mercedes- Benz the Safety Award at the 2007 What Car? Awards

    • Jag says:

      Call me biased or fanboy, what ever you think, but I have to say this: We don’t need a Merc fanboy here to inform us what Merc has done to gain it halo (which has already lost).

  12. Babken says:

    Kelz, the fastest street-legal saloon car isn’t your pathetic brabus. It’s the Godfather M5’s tuned G-Power Hurricane. So before making unresponsible comments learn about the facts.

  13. Babken says:

    Kelz, by the way, if we start talking about BMW’s innovations and achievements, it will take at least three pages and not a 1/5t of a page.

    • Klez says:

      Please talk about it. I need you to put me to shame! Tell me what it is that the ultimate driving machine has done that the auto industry benefited from?!

  14. Horatiu B. says:

    I love those conversation guys, and I respect the MB’s fans opinion as well. In the end, that’s what makes this blog so great, we let everyone express their opinion, regardless if it’s negative or positive.

    Now as far as engine goes….without sounding biased, to me the BMW engines have always been innovative and most of the time, surprisingly efficient in regards to their displacement.

  15. Adriano S. says:

    Ok, ok.., for the Trucks, ops, Mercedes bitches:

    Please, just try to remember the day that Mclaren decided to use a BMW engine for Mclaren F1, definitely one of the bestest real sports cars ever made, and please, don’t beg me about SLR….

  16. Frans says:


    I think you are just bitter, and a sore LOSER. If you are offended by BMW winning awards, than thats your problem. So dont come and smear mercs 19-who gives a s*** innovations on us.

  17. Klez says:

    I’m sure you guys read where the article said:
    “Mercedes-Benz has not made a large fuss about its innovations and has even licensed them for use by competitors—in the name of improving automobile and passenger safety – In fact, crumple zones and anti-lock brakes are now used on all modern luxury vehicles. ”

    I’m sure BMW is a huge partaker of those technologies. Funny enough people don’t know history. That BMW won an engine award doesn’t mean it can step up to Mercedes Benz!

    • Lance says:

      All premium companies in the auto world invest heavily on R&D with hope to stay ahead of competition. Merc is no different. It must be noted that a patent only lasts for a few years. Merc has also been actively marketing its technologies and are not as humble as you may think. It doesn’t make business sense to invent something and keep quiet about them. The fact that Merc licensed them for use by competitors was probably the most profitable business decision to make at that time, prob before their patent expired as you should know, these techno patents probably last for about 2 years. Another reason for that move maybe to prevent others from developing similar technology in competition to ABS, yet functions the same, in which case Merc would have lost all its possible advantage of R&D capital layout. The last possible reason would be to get greater acceptance of its new technology: you have to realise that pulsing brakes in those times would not be something that could be widely accepted. By getting more manufacturers to buy into this technology, it aids Merc as the inventor to get wider customer acceptance and trust. So these decisions are more business performance motivated, contrary to your thinking of moral intentions. You can also imagine other benefits in terms of suppliers but I won’t mention them here. These are actually very common practice in the business world, especially ones concerning new tech and innovations in VC and startups.

      As for BMW stepping up to Merc, I think you have it the other way around. The BMW Group is the No.1 Premium Car Company in the World since a few years ago already and currently it is also the most sustainable car company in the world as rated in America. Most sustainable means most likely to be the last one standing. To be the last one standing, you need to have a good business with profitable Assets (tangible or intangible). It is irrelevant that you invented something a few decades ago but cannot solely profit from it any longer. Shoul we also worship Volvo for bringing out the first three point seatbelt? No. Should we worship BMW for bringing out Night Vision? Yes as long as it stays away from being a commodity.

  18. Babken says:

    There are many factors that make BMW a far more better and prestigious vehicle on the road than your dirty mercedes. I’ll mention just three of them:
    First: if your pathetic mercedes was a better brand than BMW, it would be the leader in the market segment today, but it isn’t: the clear leader here is BMW. The 3 series smashes to dust your foolish c-class, likewise the 5-Series turns to ashes your idiotic e-class. This is the most important indicator of which car company is better.
    Second: in the most important engine competition, namely The international engine of the year awards, BMW won 43 nominations in total compared to your stupid mercedes which won 5 nominations. As for the International engine of the year award, BMW won 6 times out of 11 occasions (actually it would be 7, but this year judges decided to give the award to VW in order to finish BMW’s dominance), and your stupid mercedes didn’t even win once.
    Third: BMW makes much more balanced chassis than your turtle mercedes. On the track while your Barby mercedes tries to cut one corner, BMW is already on its second corner.
    Now regarding your stupid opinion regarding innovations. England invented soccer, but are they leaders in that sports today? Of course not. So remember what I say: what you have invented is not important. More important is how you make use of your invention. In that respect too, BMW far surpasses your for-girls-only mercedes.

    • Jordan says:

      EXACTLY Babken! I had written up a big thing in reply to Klez but it didn’t work and I didn’t feel like typing it again haha. Well Klez on behalf of the world I’d just like to really thank Mercedes Benz for just allowing the rest of the world to have ABS and crumple zones for safety, I just feel like bowing down right now, so thankful. NOT! Do you really think that’s for real?! That Mercedes ALLOWED everyone to use ABS? Hell no. BOSCH makes ABS for a ton of car manufactures, so really, you’re not getting a Mercedes ABS in your Mercedes, it’s BOSCH, same with VW, BMW, Porsche, and many other manufacturers. And just like Babken said, who cares if you invented it decades ago, it’s what you have done with that technology and how you have used it. No one cares about who made the lightbulb, we don’t talk about Edison, we talk about who’s making the best lightbulbs now. And same with Edison, he didn’t REALLY invent the lightbulb from scratch, he used previous inventions by other people to help make his lightbulb. So I find it really hard to believe that no one else in the world knew nothing about ABS except Mercedes until they made it. So in summary, its not who made it, but who has made the best use of the technology and is the furthest advanced today!

    • Lance says:

      I agree, although sometimes you exagerate a bit, but it is the truth. Not only is Mec for the daughters, but also, statistics have shown that the older generations tend to support Mercedes and one survey even said that many Merc customers drive Merc because of the reason that they have been Merc customers for decades! This kind of mentality does not work with the younger generations today. If you’re good, we buy. There is obviously a degree of brand loyalty, especially for the great ones but it is of a lesser degree in purchasing decisions in today’s world.

      However, I must admit that the Merc C Class is a good looking car (exterior) and that alone will steal many sales from the 3 Series (although also good looking, but gone soft with the facelift and the rear is a bit more evil looking). This is despite the 3 Series being a far superior car in all other aspects. Furthermore, BMW may have the best engines but if the running cost may amount to multiple folds higher than its rivals (thanks to RFT) and the company still fails to address that cost problem, sorry, those who want peace of mind motoring with potection would go for something else, especially the ones with car allowance, company cars, etc…. those who change cars in cycles of a few years.

  19. Giom says:


    Since we’re somewhat off topic, I sugest reading up on the above link. It’s just like Jordan said -and more! I’m blown over by the facts. READ IT!

    • Jordan says:

      Excellent read Giom! Wikipedia is full of great info.

      PS. Has anyone noticed that if you scroll to the bottom of any page on bmwblog.com, there is a tiny tiny happy face in the bottom left corner!! you have to actually look for it to see it haha. Horatiu is that your little joke?!

  20. Babken says:

    Dear Lance,
    The exterior beauty is just a matter of taste. If I may speak personally, I wouldn’t change a 3 Series bonnet for mercedes’s total assets. That’s my point.

  21. Des - MPOWERD says:

    Hi All,
    This issue about innovations although already covered presents quiet frankly an idiotic view of MB innovations…different companies have all contributed to the modern day automobile…some have invented tyres, tyre pressure monitors and so the list goes on and on….the issue when defining what an automobile is is vital in this instance…I suggest look it up ……it speaks of the combusiton engine and a vehicle powered by an engine which is the quintessential aspect or definition of what a vehicle is….so one has to comment then that BMW is the preeminent leader in this space….may I refer you to the above number of awards, so the definition of what an automobile is is an area that BMW concentrates on…given their outstanding fantastic engines….a note the M3 3.2 engine has won its category every year during its production…TOP that Merc…in any category……your materials of construction balance lighter materials with better efficiency and harnessing performance through optimal engineering is a distance cry from your large cubic displacement…..

  22. Frans says:

    To Lance, Babken and Jordan, YOU LEGENDS ! ! !

  23. João Prates says:

    The results for Engine of the Year Awards 2009 should be subjected to severe auditing from independent sources.

    I will only name 1 category where the results are simply outrageous to an extent far beyond comprehension: The Green Engine award.

    The jury had several cars to choose from, and two nominees were the VW TSI and the new Prius 3G (3rd generation).


    The VW with 174 hp, 6.2 L/100 km and 144 g/km CO2;
    The Toyota with 136 hp, 3.9 L/100 km and 89 g/km CO2

    The jury says the car which has:

    +30% horsepower, 63% more fuel consumption, 62% more CO2 emissions

    is the greenest car… yeah… right… is this for real!?!?!

    The general public demands a general inquiry to this Jury votes right now!

    This is a shameful representation of how strong lobbies can go.
    I feel sick to the stomach reading this year’s awards.

    Shame on the jury!

    • Jordan says:

      I partially agreed with ur comment at first…. but there is a big difference between the engine in the Prius and the VW. the Prius has a battery helping it use it’s engine less which obviously emits less CO2 and better fuel economy. But the engines are very different. the VW has an internal combustion engine and no battery to help it get better economy. however…..

      we live in the 21st century and these are the “Engine of the Year Awards” so going back to the basic roots of the word engine, which is a mechanical device that produces some form of output from a given input, having a battery powered car is actually an engine. we’ve been assessing engines based on certain factors and in the 21st century I believe we’re really going to have to change those parameters. A battery engine doesn’t require gasoline so L/100km is useless and it doesn’t emit CO2 so that parameter is useless. i think they should change these to the “Internal Combustion Engine of the Year Awards” and have separate awards for Electric Powered Vehicles.

  24. João Prates says:

    Hi Jordan,

    I understand your point, but let me clear two things that I think you are not aware of:

    1) The prize has always been for the power train and not just the ICE. If you look at the previous years, the Prius has been winning it for about 5 years in a row I believe. If you look at the criteria, it speaks of power train, not ICE.

    2) The ICE itself is an engineering feat that smashes the VW TSI to kingdom come. The specific fuel consumption of the ICE alone (no battery or other hybrid component concerned) is an impressive low 220 g/kWh across the whole range of RPM, it’s incredible how they managed to build this.

    The new Prius ICE is by far more efficient than most of the best diesel engines, and that is no small feat. You can see the new BFSC graph for the new Prius Engine here on this post of mine: http://prius-pt.com/cafe/forums/p/1007/10499.aspx#10499.

    So, either way, looking at the complete powertrain or just the ICE, the Prius has the undisputed lead.

    Moreover, we are talking about the Green Engine award for crying out loud, the main criteria should be fuel efficiency and emissions! Someone has its pockets full by now if you ask me… I may be wrong…

    • Jordan says:

      I wasn’t aware of that. I thought the new diesels were more fuel efficient and had less CO2.

      Isn’t the new 1.8L in the 2010 Prius the same engine as in the Corolla?

  25. João Prates says:

    No, not at all.

    To begin with, all Prius engines work on the Atkinson cycle, that makes a whole difference. That’s the main reason for the very good BSFC. The expansion valve closing timing is different (delayed) so that you can take the last breath of each explosion. There is a lot of articles in the internet explaining this trick.

    Then you have to add the exhaust gas recirculation system, add the exhaust heat recovery system, add the fact that the engine is completely belt less (electric water pump is new in the new Prius), etc, and you have an engineering feat altogether that makes it possible to get 1kWh with only 220 g of fuel across almost all rpm range.

    Complement it with a state of the art hybrid system… and there’s no way this car would have lost the prizes the way it lost if it was not for the total ignorance of the journalists that make the jury.

    The current hybrid technology is too much for the skill limited journalists, that’s what I say. More and more we see that there is a very little number of motoring journalists that know how the HSD system works.

    Each time we Prius owners read an article where the Prius is mentioned, we always brace for the ignorance that is bound to be there. Toyota should perhaps spend more money explaining, teaching, these journalists about its technology.

    It is not enough to be the best, it is not enough to have the best, you must let other people understand you. Public relations are not so good at Toyota. They worry too much about tech and too little about teaching the press IMHO.

    • Jordan says:

      Ya i had no idea about that. i was sure they just popped a 1.8l from the corolla in and paired it with an electric engine. like you said I think toyota needs to put more money into their marketing campaign, im sure that information would help make the decision for ppl considering the Prius. it made me want the Prius more haha… but i’d still rather have a BMW :P

  26. João Prates says:

    Believe me when I say that the Prius ICE should have won the 1.4-1.8 category along with the Green award. And you only know half of the story. The more you would know about the Prius the more you would be amazed. It is really a technological marvel ignored by most people. But hey, I’m not here to convert anyone from a BMW to a Prius, you can have them both if you want ;)

    I just tried to stir the couple and alert people that German companies are spending a lot more money on marketing and lobby than on technical advances and the fact of the matter is that this approach is winning them awards. It’s sad.

    OK, thanks for listening Jordan and all. Do investigate a little more about the Prius in various dedicated sites, and don’t believe a third of what you hear about the car in the press. That would be my best advice.

    Peace everyone. Bye now.

  27. BMW dermo! says:

    Rebyataaaaaa..Merliniiii..che vi muchaete seba? BMW xoroshaya mashina..no posle Merlina! [; nenujno dolgo im obyasnyat kakaya mashina luchshe..nujno prosto vspomnit na kakoy mashine edut ixniye PREZEDENTI! nu i vse! [; pust vorchat skolko ugodno..Merlin skazal uje svoe!!!

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