The 875cc TwinAir engine, the most efficient and lowest CO2 emitting petrol engine currently available in the UK, has been nominated alongside electric engines such as those used in the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero.
Last year, Fiat’s MultiAir petrol engine, as used in the range-topping Alfa MiTo Cloverleaf, took the prestigious title.
The TwinAir technology is even more advanced, taking the number of cylinders down to two but providing enough performance to power the small Fiat 500 city car.
The headline figure, however, is the sub-100g/km official CO2 emissions figure in the Fiat 500 TwinAir – the lowest of any petrol car on sale in the UK.
The engine means the Fiat 500 TwinAir is also the only purely petrol-powered car to qualify for zero road tax and exemption from the London congestion charge.
It has been so successful, Fiat has introduced the TwinAir range for the 500, a sub-brand within the popular small car range.
Dean Slavnich, editor of Engine Technology International and co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year Awards, called the technology ‘increasingly clever’, adding: "The results of this year’s competition will be fascinating.”
The Fiat 500 TwinAir engine will face stern competition from the Mitsubishi-sourced engine used in the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero. The all-electric unit is capable of running for 93 miles between charges and boasts a top speed of 80mph.
The 13th International Engine of the Year Award will be presented at Engine Expo 2011 in Stuttgart, Germany on 18th May. In total, 12 awards will be given, but the most prestigious remains the International Engine of the Year 2011.