The 1,5-litre petrol/electric hybrid of the Toyota Prius has won the overall title of International Engine of the Year 2004, taking the honours in a record number of four categories this year.

The 1,5-litre petrol/electric hybrid of the Toyota Prius has won the overall title of International Engine of the Year 2004, taking the honours in a record number of four categories this year.


A jury comprising 56 motor journalists from 24 countries, including one representative from South Africa - CAR technical editor Jake Venter, decided the sixth-annual International Engine of the Year Awards’ results.


The internal combustion engine/electric motor combination as housed in the Prius saloon scooped the prizes for the Best New Engine of 2004, Best Fuel Economy Engine, and Best 1,4-litre to 1,8-litre. Judges said the engine was “truly remarkable”, and added “it raises the hybrid bar with a combination of better driveability, more technology, and more eco-friendliness”.


To tackle an incline or fast-flowing traffic, the electric motor acts like a turbo, feeding its maximum output of 50 kW into the powertrain, giving the Prius an overall output of 82 kW and 478 N.m of torque. In addition, the Prius, which is capable of a 160-km/h top speed and zero to 100 km/h time of 10,9 seconds, is said to consume an average of 4,2 litres per 100 km.


But Toyota wasn’t the only triumphant Japanese firm: Mazda, winner of last year’s International Engine of the Year title, saw its RX-8’s RENESIS Rotary unit top its category, while Honda took home three trophies; one each for its Insight hybrid, Civic hybrid and the 177 kW 2-litre four cylinder unit found in the S2000, which was recently re-launched on the South African market.


BMW won Best 2-litre to 2,5-litre and Best 3-litre to 4-litre categories for the 2,5-litre straight six 325i, 525i and Z4 engine and the M3’s 3,2-litre powerplant. The Bavarian company has held on to its position as the most successful manufacturer in the Awards’ six-year history, with 20 trophies – Honda has won 19.


Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz also had reason to celebrate. Volkswagen’s 5-litre V10 diesel, of which a road test appeared in the April edition of CAR, was voted the best Above 4-litre unit for a second consecutive year. Meanwhile, the twin-turbocharged V12 unit in Mercedes-Benz’s SL65 AMG won the award for the world’s greatest performance engine, beating the likes of Ferrari and Porsche in the process.

Original article from Car