Ford has taken top honours at the International Engine of the Year (IEotY) awards, with its 1.0 litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine announced as the overall winner.
The announcement marks the second consecutive year that a small engine has taken the prize, with Fiat's 0.9 litre TwinAir two-cylinder engine winning in 2011.
"That the small capacity engines continue to impress the most in overall terms, even against the larger, higher performance engines, says a great deal about how the automotive industry has developed in recent years," IEotY co-chairman Dean Slavnich said.
The three-cylinder EcoBoost engine currently features in the European-market Focus hatch, along with the upcoming EcoSport small SUV.
In the Focus, the engine is offered in two states of tune, one delivering 75kW of power, and the other producing 92kW.
Ford Australia's Thai-sourced Focus makes a local debut for the engine unclear, even unlikely, which means that next year's EcoSport launch will likely be our first taste of the tiny turbo engine.
Petrol options for the local Focus are limited to Ford's 1.6 litre engine, producing 92kW. But while the Euro-market 92kW 1.0 litre model lists fuel consumption figures of 5.0 l/100km, the 1.6 engine uses 6.2 l/100km.
Other winners at the 2012 awards included the Chevrolet/Holden Volt's 1.4 litre range-extending engine in the Green class, while Ferrari's 458-driving 4.5 litre V8 scooped the pool for Best Performance Engine and Best Above 4.0 litre.
BMW took out an impressive four awards, winning with the 4.0 litre V8 in the M3, the twin-turbo 3.0 litre six (335is, 1 M Coupe, others), the 2.0 litre turbo (X1, 328i, 528i, others), and the 1.6 litre turbo engine developed with Peugeot.
The Volkswagen Group scored in the 2.0 to 2.5 litre category with its trusty turbocharged 2.5 litre inline-five driving the Audi TT RS and RS 3 cars, and its 1.4 litre TSI twincharger engine won the 1.0 to 1.4 litre class.