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Fiat twin cylinder 875cc engine wins International Engine of the Year


May 18, 2011

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Fiat's new TwinAir engine has scooped the 2011 International Engine of the Year competition, winning the major gong for engine of the year, plus three other awards including the Best New Engine 2011, Best Green Engine 2011 and Best Engine of less than 1,000 cc.

The twin cylinder 875 cc engine is currently only available in a turbocharged 85 bhp configuration in the Fiat 500 and will soon also be available in the Chrysler Ypsilon, but non-turbo 65 bhp, turbo 105 bhp and 80 bhp turbo bi-fuel versions are all due this year. The TwinAir's most distinguishing technological feature is the electro-hydraulic valve control, and a balancing countershaft to reduce vibration.

Environmentally, the TwinAir is remarkably frugal in its use of gas and in its low emissions with figures of 95 g/km of CO2.

BMW always seems to fare well in the IEOY awards, and this year it matched Fiat's four awards, though with four different engines. The 4-liter V8 used in the BMW M3 won the "3-liter to 4-liter" award, the 3-liter DI Twin Turbo took the "2.5-liter to 3-liter" category, its 2-liter Twin Turbo diesel won the "1.8-liter to 2-liter" category and its 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine took out the "1.4-liter to 1.8-liter" category. Only Audi's 2.5-liter turbo prevented BMW from taking a complete clean sweep of all awards between 1.4 and 4.0 liters.

Other winners in the awards included Fiat's stablemate Ferrari, which won both "Best Performance Engine" and "Above 4-liter" awards for its 570bhp, 4.5-liter V8 engine as used in the 458 Italia. The dry-sump, flat-crank, 90-degree V8 spins to 9,000 rpm and emanated from Ferrari's HELE (High Emotions Low Emissions) initiative.

The International Engine of the Year title for the prior two years (2009 and 2010) went to Volkswagen's 1.4-liter TSI Twincharger engine, which not-surprisingly, took out the "1-liter to 1.4-liter" category.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

My question is will the little Retro Fiat\'s twin run on compressed air?

Patrick McGean

Patrick \"My question is will the little Retro Fiat\'s twin run on compressed air?\"

Nothing runs on compressed air, Patrick - except mythical \'vapourwair\' cars that are always \'12 months from production\' - & have been for the last 12 - 15 years. One car had a 7.22 km range ten years ago - & a huge shopping list of improvements that would get the car to 150 km. Now they are claiming 150 or 200 - yet they have never announced that any of the improvements has been achieved.

Further, compressed air is not an energy source - it is an energy transfer medium - and not a very good one at that. Suitable only for special needs such as explosion proof motors in mines, etc.


The engine sounds good for a motorcycle.


Hi, The Fiat 875 engine make for a great light aircraft engine.? It would probably a lot cheaper the ROTAX engine used in micro-lights & Sport aircraft.

Cheers John M

John M

John, I had the same thoughts. But some mod may be needed to make it FAR33 compliant?

Kok Yong Lim

It\'s just a shame that we\'ll NEVER see the \"2011 International Engine of the Year\" in the United States...


Utilizing this engine in a light sport aircraft was the 1st thing on my mind as well!

Will, the tink

Check with Intimidator UTV manufacturer in the US built in Arkansas. They could use a small gasoline engine like this if the two of you could get together

Perry Brogdon
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