May 4 2012.

Okay, so this is a car industry news story, but it's still interesting to see what they are up to on the four-wheel side... 

With each passing year, the fight for honours in the International Engine of the Year Awards gets ever more competitive. 2012 has seen the judging panel assess 39 all-new engines alongside the best of the established powertrains already in the market. In another year of diverse competition, new engines on the shortlist include mighty petrol engines such as McLaren's downsized V8 and BMW's turbocharged 'M' power V8 unit, to the diminutive three-cylinder engine from Ford and the all-electric engines of the Nissan Leaf and Renault Fluence.

Dean Slavnich, editor of Engine Technology International and co-chairman of the International Engine of the Year Awards, says: "As ever, the judging panel has assessed every new engine to the market in the past 12 months, and we firmly believe that this year's judging has been the toughest ever. Last year, Fiat's fabulous little TwinAir scooped four awards, so it will be interesting to see if it can still impress as much in the face of some seriously talented opposition."

With fuel prices across the globe riding high in the news agenda, the small, green and electric powertrains have never been more important to the international automotive market. The burgeoning 'Green' category this year will see last year's winning Fiat 875cc two-cylinder turbo take on GM's excellent 1.4-liter range extender from the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera, whilst Ford's much-admired 999cc, three-cylinder turbo engine is also a top contender for the category.

The 'Performance' engine award always gets a lot of attention, and with Ferrari's stunning Ferrari 4.5-liter V8 taking on new units such as McLaren's 3.8-liter V8 from the MP4-12C supercar and BMW's 4.4-liter TwinTurbo V8 that powers the magnificent M5 and M6, competition in this class has never been hotter.

Of the all-new engines to the market in 2011, Mazda's impressive 2.2-liter, 'skyactive' diesel engine will be hoping that it can take the overall crown, but with the likes of McLaren, BMW, Ford and GM all vying for position, the final awards results will certainly be closely watched by the industry.

The 14th International Engine of the Year Award will be announced at a ceremony at Engine Expo 2012 in Stuttgart, Germany on 13th June. The event, one of the annual highlights of the automotive industry calendar, will see a total of twelve Awards given to those manufacturers who have been judged to have achieved excellence in powertrain engineering.

For further information on the Awards, please visit: