Lit­tlest won­der

The world’s best small en­gine, a twocylin­der, won’t come to Aus­tralia

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@cars­guide.com.au

TWO­cylin­ders have over­come decades of dom­i­na­tion by big­ca­pac­ity per­for­mance en­gines to win one of the world’s pres­tige en­gi­neer­ing ac­co­lades.

In tak­ing a string of awards, in­clud­ing the peak In­ter­na­tional En­gine of the Year 2011, Fiat’s tiny 875cc twocylin­der also paved the way for Italy to end Ger­many’s long­stand­ing dom­i­na­tion.

Fit­ted in Europe to the 500 small car, it also was judged the best un­der-1.0-litre en­gine; best new en­gine for 2011; and best green en­gine. Its green cat­e­gory win was re­mark­able given it beat zero-emis­sion elec­tric en­gines from Nis­san and Mit­subishi.

Fiat im­porter Ateco Au­to­mo­tive says there’s no chance’’ the 875cc ver­sion of the 500 will come to Aus­tralia.

It’s not price com­pet­i­tive in Aus­tralia,’’ says Ateco spokesman Ed­ward Rowe.

It’s a hi-tech en­gine made to max­imise fuel ef­fi­ciency and lower emis­sions and, in do­ing that, gain sig­nif­i­cant tax ad­van­tages in Europe.

It’s an ex­pen­sive en­gine to make, but the tax sub­si­dies make buy­ing and own­ing it a lot cheaper than the 1.4-litre ver­sion of the 500.

Aus­tralia isn’t look­ing at en­cour­ag­ing the pur­chase of low-emis­sion cars, so the Twin Air and other cars from other man­u­fac­tur­ers won’t be com­ing here.’’

Euro­pean gov­ern­ments lower the tax on low-emis­sion cars to en­cour­age own­er­ship.

Fiat com­pany Fer­rari helped wave the tri­colour flag, win­ning the 2011 best per­for­mance en­gine and best en­gine above 4.0 litres for the 4.5-litre V8 fit­ted to the Fer­rari 458 Italia.

Then it was Ger­many’s turn. Audi, BMWand Volk­swa­gen took the re­main­ing awards.

Volk­swa­gen’s 1.4-litre TSI Twin­charger, the en­gine of the year in 2009-10, still was judged the best in the 1.0-1.4-litre cat­e­gory. Sis­ter com­pany Audi took hon­ours in the 2.0-2.5-litre cat­e­gory for its 2.5 turbo in the TTRS and RS3.

BMW­took the re­main­ing awards in var­ied cat­e­gories: for the 4.0-litre V8 in the M3; the 3.0-litre bi-turbo in the 135i, 335i, Z4 among oth­ers; the bi­turbo 2.0-litre diesel; and the Mini’s 1.6-litre turbo en­gine, shared with Peu­geot.

The 13th In­ter­na­tional En­gine of the Year Awards, pre­sented in Stuttgart, were judged by 76 in­ter­na­tional mo­tor­ing writers.

Pe­tite power: The Fiat 500 is a big hit on the style front

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