But the judges still showed their preference for small three-cylinder engines, voting in 2015 for the 1.5 litre turbocharged unit from BMW’s i8 hybrid system.
The BMW engine amassed 274 points to take the win, ahead of Ford’s triple-winner in the EcoBoost engine on 267 and another three-cylinder engine - the 1.2 litre unit from PSA Peugeot Citroen - on 222 points in third.
Ferrari’s 4.5 litre V8 from the 458 was fourth and just one point behind the PSA Peugeot Citroen engine on 221, winning the Performance Engine and Over 4.0 Litre categories in the process.
While placing second to the BMW 1.5 litre engine for overall honours, Ford’s sub-1.0 litre capacity for its EcoBoost engine (available in the Fiesta and EcoSport in Australia) means it still won the Under 1.0 Litre category for 2015 - making it four wins in a row.
BMW’s overall victory also translated into a class win for the 1.4 to 1.8 litre category, along with the award for Best New Engine.
Likewise, PSA Peugeot Citroen’s third overall for its 1.2 litre unit (best known for powering the European Car Of The Year: Peugeot’s 308) saw it win the 1.0 to 1.4 litre category.
BMW dominated the 2.5 to 3.0 litre category with its 3.0 litre twin-turbo six-cylinder engine taking the win. This unit powers the M3 and M4 performance siblings, but BMW also filled positions two through to four in this category with other engines in its range.
Other category winners included Mercedes-AMG, which won the 1.8 to 2.0 litre class with its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine as found in the A 45 hero and others.
Audi won the 2.0 to 2.5 litre class with its 2.5 litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine (think TT RS and RS Q3), while McLaren’s 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 from the 650S and 12C won the 3.0 to 4.0 litre category.
The award for Best Green powerplant went to Tesla’s electric unit from the Model S.
MORE: Volkswagen Unveils New 1.0 And 6.0 Litre Engines In Vienna
MORE News & Reviews: BMW | i8 | Engines
CATEGORY WINNERS - 2015
1.0 - 1.4 litre
PSA Peugeot Citroen 1.2 litre three-cylinder (Peugeot 308)
1.4 - 1.8 litre, overall winner and best new engine
BMW i8 1.5 litre hybrid
2.5 - 3.0 litre
BMW M 3.0 litre in-line six-cylinder twin-turbo petrol (M3 and M4)
Above 4.0-litre and best performance engine
Ferrari 458 4.5 litre V8 petrol
Tesla Model S electric drivetrain