The two-cylinder petrol engine was awarded the Pietsch prize for technological development by readers of the magazine because of its low fuel consumption and emissions.
Designed for the Fiat 500 city car, the TwinAir engine has been designed to deliver 85hp and CO2 emissions of 95g/km – making the car eligible for zero road tax in the UK.
It is one of the first petrol cars to deliver sub-100g/km CO2 emissions and has helped Fiat to be named in the bottom three for average CO2 emissions across its European range of cars.
The Fiat 500 TwinAir technology works by reducing friction in the two cylinders, using a new valve system instead of the more traditional camshaft and adding a turbocharger to add power.
This, says Fiat, means the Fiat 500 TwinAir is capable of matching four-cylinder engines in terms of power and torque.
At the event in Stuttgart, the technology was awarded the technological development prize after readers of the magazines voted for the winners of several categories.
The Pietsch prize is named after Paul Pietsch, a former driver, reporter and publisher in the motor industry.
The prize was collected by Aldo Marangoni, Fiat’s Product Engineering Vice President at Fiat Powertrain.
Fiat is one of the leading manufacturers in the production of new engines. The group, which owns Alfa Romeo, won the International Engine of the Year Award in 2010 for the MultiAir petrol engine used on the Alfa MiTo supermini.
The technology used in the MultiAir engine was adapted to create the smaller TwinAir model at the end of 2010.
Fiat isn’t the only car maker investigating new, more efficient petrol engines. Ford currently offers the EcoBoost petrol range with the new C-Max, while Mazda plans to introduce efficient petrol and diesel engines, known as SKYACTIV, into its Mazda2 and Mazda3 in 2011.