Ford's small 1-litre ecoboost can fit on a sheet of A4 paper
The International Engine of the Year award went to a tiny little three-cylinder from Ford. The clever wee EcoBoost one-litre, launched in Europe this year but still unavailable in New Zealand, also scooped the Best New Engine and Best Engine Under 1 Litre awards.
The decision came after journalists from 35 countries voted at the Engine Expo in Stuttgart.
Ford has not won the award before.
Critics praised the engine, which is small enough to fit on a sheet of A4 paper, since its release in the Focus hatch. It beat last year's winner, Fiat's two-cylinder Twin Air, and shows that the international judging panel are, like car buyers, favouring small-haulers.
Dean Slavnich, editor of Engine Technology International, said: "That the small-capacity engines continue to impress even against the larger, higher performance engines - says a great deal about how the automotive industry has developed in recent years."
Ford New Zealand is evaluating whether the 999cc EcoBoost will come here.
It is mostly likely to appear in a Focus model but could be sold in the smaller Fiesta.
Despite its very green credentials, the EcoBoost fell to Ford's Detroit nemesis when it came to environmental honours. The "range extender" from the Chevrolet Volt received the Green Engine Award. The 1.4 litre engine is used to charge the Volt's battery when it gets to a certain charge level, rather than driving the car's wheels.
"Pure battery EVs have never been a real-world, viable alternative to the internal combustion engine due to their lack of range and poor cold-weather performance," said awards co-chairman Graham Johnson, "but GM's range-extender concept solves both issues and thus is a genuine blueprint for the future."
Ferrari's 4.5-litre V8 from the 458 Italia took Best Performance Engine and won the Above 4-litre category.
The rest of the trophy pool was very focused on German engineering. BMW won a pile of capacity-related awards for the M3's 4-litre V8, the twin-turbo 3-litre six from the 1M Coupe and 335i; the two-litre twin-turbo four found in numerous other models; and its joint-venture 1.6-litre turbo engine - co-developed with PSA Peugeot Citroen - won the 1.4-1.8-litre category.
Volkswagen Audi Group won the 2-2.5-litre category for the 2.5-litre five-cylinder from the Audi TT RS and RS3 Sportback, and VW's neat little 1.4 TSI twincharger kept its 1-1.4-litre award for the second year running.