Smaller engines are winners at international awards

Smaller engines are winners at international awards

The latest ‘green’ engine from Fiat was among the winners when the motor industry gathered to make its choice of international engine of the year for 2010. The awards’ organiser, Engine Technology International magazine, named the Italian manufacturer’s 1.4-litre MultiAir Turbo engine the best out of all 66 new car engines launched during 2009.

This engine is available in two high-performance versions of the Italian manufacturer’s Punto models – the Punto Evo and Abarth Punto Evo – as well as vehicles in Alfa Romeo’s MiTo and Giulietta ranges. Models of the mid-range Bravo hatchback powered by the engine are due to follow onto the market soon.

MultiAir technology allows the intake of air into the engine to be directly controlled, independently of the throttle control, cylinder by cylinder and stroke by stroke. This is claimed to help achieve reductions in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions of up to 10 per cent, while resulting in the amount of power produced being increased by the same margin, and 15 per cent extra torque, or pulling power, being available to drivers.

Fiat’s range of MultiAir engines produce between 135 and 170bhp, and are the successors to the company’s first MultiJet diesel engine, which was introduced in 2005, and in that year won the same prize in the one-litre to 1.4-litre category as its new counterpart.

FPT Product Engineering vice-president, Aldo Marangoni, collected the award on behalf of his development team, and said he believed the engine’s popularity was due to its excellent mixture of power, lower CO2 emissions and improved fuel economy over its predecessor.

The popularity of these smaller engines is understandable. Since the UK government changed the criteria under which cars were graded for vehicle excise duty – what is more commonly known as road tax – car manufacturers have been working hard to make smaller engines which can offer the power output of larger units, while being economical to run, and being less harmful to the environment.

As a result, just about every car manufacturer now has its own equivalent of the award-winning Fiat power plant, and their development is accelerating quickly – as that figure of 66 new engines launched during 2009 shows.

Make sure whe nbuying new and used cars that you buy from reputable car dealers to ensure you get the best service and vehicles for your money.

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