The Engine of the Year award for 2012 has been given to the tiny three-cylinder Ford Ecoboost 1.0.
We are not always big fans of awards – for example one very determined journalist ensured that the Vauxhall Insignia beat the Ford Fiesta to 2009 European Car of the Year, when it wasn't even the best car in its class, let alone best car of the year. However, we would have to applaud this one.
The 1.0 Ecoboost is a real step forward for small engines, being superior in every way to the 1.6 litre normally-aspirated engine it replaces. It is smoother, quieter, more eager, more powerful and more economical – and there are many other bases an engine can cover. Unless you can stretch to the new Focus ST, or you really need the economy of a diesel, it is easily the pick of the range.
However, it 2013 it will appear in the Fiesta, which is something to look forward to. Its smooth, eager character plus 125 bhp in the little Fiesta should make it a great supermini. No doubt one judge will still rate it behind the Corsa, though.