As award ceremonies go, the International Engine of the Year is hardly likely to get all but the most passionate petrol heads’ hearts racing.
But this year’s event is actually more relevant to the average motorist than ever before – because paying attention to the winners could help drivers save hundreds of pounds on the road when it comes to buying a new car.
While the McLaren MP4-12C’s awe-inspiring V8 engine is in the realms of fantasy for many buyers, the plethora of frugal, green engines that do not compromise on power this year is encouraging.
Take, for example, one of the favourites for both the main award and the ‘best green engine’ title; the new 1.0-litre Ford petrol engine.
Petrol engines are traditionally less efficient than a similar-size diesel. However, diesel engines come with their own pitfalls.
For example, diesel is more expensive than petrol at the pumps. Diesel engines are also less suited to city driving because the diesel particulate filter (a device used to filter out damaging ‘particulates’) can become clogged if the car is not occasionally driven at higher speeds, damaging the engine and leading to costly repair bills.
So a petrol engine that provides the same low running costs as a diesel without any of the down-sides is something to shout about.
The new Ford 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is a huge breakthrough in petrol technology. The engine delivers 100PS or 125PS but delivers incredible running costs.
For example, the less powerful version will deliver CO2 emissions of just 109g/km – enough to qualify for first year free road tax.
For an engine that powerful (other small petrol engines dip well below 100PS) it is a clever bit of technology and fuel economy of nearly 60mpg is sure to impress buyers.
Better still, those running costs are going to be available on Ford’s small family car, the new 2012 Ford Focus.
Usually 1.0-litre engines would be under-powered on anything but a city car but the EcoBoost engine will provide enough power for not just the Ford Focus, but it will also appear on the larger Ford C-Max and Grand C-Max models.
The engine will also be sold on the forthcoming Ford B-Max, a practical five-seat MPV based on the Ford Fiesta and introducing innovative sliding side doors.
A practical family car with city car emissions and fuel economy? It could be enough to take the top title at the International Engine of the Year awards.
While this may not excite some, it is sure to strike a chord with increasingly cost-conscious buyers.
If you want to find out more about the new Ford EcoBoost engine, contact your nearest Ford dealership or book a Ford test drive here.