With carmakers battling to produce vastly more fuel efficient engines, the title of Green Engine of the Year has become increasingly prestigious as part of the International Engine of the Year awards: and it is Fiat that has scooped the title for 2013.
Its innovative 0.9litre TwinAir Turbo bi-fuel methane-powered engine, which was launched for the first time last year in the new Fiat Panda, has earned the honour thanks to a host of environmental benefits.
The bi-fuel engine boasts maximum power of 80hp at 5,500rpm with maximum torque of 140Nm at 2,500rpm. Despite its impressive power statistics, its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are remarkably low: the Fiat Panda TwinAir Turbo Natural Power (pictured), for example, uses a meagre 3.1kg of methane for every 100km travelled with CO2 emissions at 86g/km.
Compared to its petrol alternative, the TwinAir bi-fuel has a number of revisions including specifically designed components such as the electronic engine control system, injectors, intake manifold and the valve seats: each with a specific geometry of low-wear materials. These parts are integrated with state-of-the-art technology for maximum reliability.
Fiat is strongly behind methane as an appropriate technological choice to reduce pollution in urban areas and limit CO2 emissions. It highlights that methane engines reduce most harmful emissions including particulates (which are at close to zero levels), hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. They also produce around 23 per cent less CO2 than equivalent petrol engines. As such, Fiat describes methane as the "cleanest" and cheapest fuel today.
Elsewhere at the awards, Ford's fuel-efficient 1.0litre EcoBoost engine, which is designed and engineered in the UK, was named International Engine of the Year for the second successive year. The engine also won the best "under 1.0litre" engine category and was praised for being "powerful, fuel efficient, clean and lightweight".
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