BMW i8 Takes Engine Performance and Efficiency Award For Third Year

The BMW i8’s sports car performance and small car fuel economy won it the International Engine of the Year award for the third year in a row.

The i8 plug-in hybrid took the award in the 1.4-liter to 1.8-liter displacement category. Winners were recognized Wednesday during the Engine Expo trade fair in Stuttgart.

Judges have been impressed by the output from the BMW i8’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine coupled with the 96 kW/131 horsepower electric motor. The three-cylinder engine produces 170 kW/231 horsepower for the rear wheels, while the electric motor is fueled by the lithium-ion battery pack for the front axle.

The high-output system comes from the gasoline and electric power sources that drive the rear wheels. The electric boost from the hybrid system gives passengers BMW driving pleasure and high levels of efficiency. It’s capable of going 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds.

“It’s a spectacular engine, despite it’s puny dimensions. If you didn’t know it was a 1.5-liter unit boosted by electricity, you’d swear it was a 3-liter flat-six. Its brilliance comes from its seamless application of technology,” said Graham Johnson, co-chairman, International Engine of the Year Awards.

On the fuel consumption side, the i8 gets 2.1 liter/100 km (112 mpg), which comes out to 134.5 mpg under New European Driving Cycle standards and 76 in mpg equivalent rating under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. One the CO2 emissions side, the i8 has a rating of 49.0 grams per kilometer based on the EU test cycle.

Such clean performance comes from the Efficient Dynamics technology package, which has been providing driving fuel economy while reducing fuel economy and emissions since being introduced in 2007, the company said.

BMW’s plug-in hybrid system has a range up to 37 kilometers (23 miles) in the EU test cycle. It can drive to a top all-electric speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). Its all-wheel drive system provides powerful acceleration, plus dynamically-biased distribution of power through keenly taken corners.”

SEE ALSO:  GKN’s BMW i8 e-Axle Wins Automotive News PACE Award

The International Engine of the Year Awards have been given out since 1999. BMW has received 68 class and overall wins for its power units engineered for BMW models. Awards are given by a panel of 50 auto journalists from 31 countries.

British publication Auto Car reported in late 2016 that the 2018 BMW i8 will get an upgraded gasoline-electric powertrain that have been tested in a fleet of prototype vehicles, along with powering two i8 safety cars used in the Formula E electric racing series.

Combined with the 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine, the output would be lifted to around 420 horsepower compared to the existing model’s 357 horsepower.

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