Awards are big business, don’t forget it. Every week there’s some award somewhere for something. And most of them are quite fatuous, but you do get a plastic trophy to put on the mantelpiece and a team of judges enjoy a freebie weekend with plenty of champagne and caviar.
The most recent to cross my desk was the award for the Engine of the Year. This was voted upon by scads of motoring writers at some venue in Europe, and was the result of collective ignorance of things mechanical. The number of motoring writers I have met who actually know anything about engines, other than what they read in the press hand-out, I can count on the fingers of one hand. And sorry if that upsets some motor noters.
However, the big winner came from Fiat who won four plastic egg cups:
Engine of the year – Fiat TwinAir 875 cc 2-cyl (Fiat 500)
Best New Engine of the Year – Fiat TwinAir 875 cc 2-cyl (Fiat 500)
Green Engine of the Year – Fiat TwinAir 875 cc 2-cyl (Fiat 500)
And the Sub 1-liter – Fiat TwinAir 875 cc 2-cyl (Fiat 500)
This engine is another of the fuel misers to make the tree huggers happy, will be more expensive to manufacture and everyone would rather have a diesel.
For what it is worth, every child player won a prize, and here is the list:
Best Performance Engine – Ferrari 4.5-liter V8 (458 Italia)
1-liter to 1.4-liter – Volkswagen 1.4-liter TSI TwinCharger (Golf, Polo)
1.4-liter to 1.8-liter – BMW 1.6-liter turbo (Mini range only)
1.8-liter to 2-liter – BMW 2.0-liter twin-turbo diesel (123d, X1)
2-liter to 2.5-liter – Audi 2.5-liter turbo (TT RS)
2.5-liter to 3-liter – BMW 3.0-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder (1-Series, 3-Series, X3, X5, X6, Z4, 6-Series, 7-Series)
3-liter to 4-liter – BMW 4.0-liter V8 (M3)
Above 4-liter – Ferrari 4.5-liter V8 (458 Italia)
I’m sure you will now all run out and buy a Fiat 500 TwinAir, but you won’t get one with that ‘award winning’ engine in this country, or many other countries for that matter. I hope Fiat boss Marchione likes the egg cup.