Fiat’s tiny 0.9-litre motor wins ‘International Engine of the Year’ Award

May 19th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

With a displacement of just 875cc Fiat’s twin-cylinder gasoline ‘TwinAir’ motor seemed an unlikely choice for the International Engine of the Year Award but the little engine that could has taken the top honours. The much coveted award is decided by a jury of 76 journalists and industry experts from 36 different countries and Fiat’s mini mill was highly praised. The Jury were sold on the TwinAir’s low emissions, high fuel economy and strong power output for its size. The TwinAir scooped four awards in total that included “Best New Engine 2011”, “Best Green Engine 2011”, “Best Sub 1-Litre Engine” and the “International Engine of the Year 2011” grand award.

Fiat’s two-cylinder champion uses turbocharging to develop 63kW of power and currently sees service in the Fiat 500 and 500C, with further applications planned. Fiat will also introduce two other versions of the motor, a naturally aspirated variant producing 48kW and a higher-performance turbocharged variant with 78kW.

This year’s awards event was held yesterday (May 18th) at the Engine Expo in Stuttgart, Germany. Other big winners included BMW with the carmaker taking out four awards. The honours included winning the “3-litre to 4-litre” category with the 4.0-litre V8 unit used in the M3, the “2.5-litre to 3-litre” division for its 3.0-litre DI Twin Turbo mill, the “1.8-litre to 2-litre” category for the 2.0-litre Twin Turbo diesel engine found in the 123d and X1, and lastly the “1.4-litre to 1.8-litre” category for the popular 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo engine co-developed with PSA Peugeot Citroen, powering the Mini. Continue reading “Fiat’s tiny 0.9-litre motor wins ‘International Engine of the Year’ Award” »

Look out for trucking good heroes on the road

February 9th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Over the next ten months the hunt is on for highway heroes on New Zealand roads.

Established in 1999 by the New Zealand Police in association with Beaurepaires, NZ Trucking magazine and the NZ Transport Agency, the Beaurepaires’ Highway Heroes awards have been recognising professional truck, coach and bus drivers around the country for their good deeds performed on the job.

“Drivers are nominated by the public throughout the year and a supreme year winner is awarded at the end of the year by a panel of judges,” Jamie Stewart, marketing manager for Beaurepaires who manage the programme said.

“In our experience drivers rarely see themselves as heroes and it takes members of the Police, work colleagues or the public to nominate them. Many of the nominations in the past have related to the aftermath of accidents, but there are also acts of bravery or humanity where drivers have gone out of their way to assist fellow road users and instances where driving skills have avoided catastrophic accidents.

“We encourage anyone who witnesses such an incident to make a nomination. All we require is the name of the driver or a suitable identifier like a truck company and truck number, a description of the event and contact details of the nominator,” he said.

Last year’s 2009 Beaurepaires Highway Hero was Tokoroa logging truck driver Simon Anania, who was presented with a $5,000 cheque for his quick and level thinking upon coming across an accident involving another truck and a motorbike at 1.30 am on his route.

Nominations are now open for the Year 2010 Award. They can be made by anybody who feels there has been an act of genuine benefit to others on the road – as long as the driver is a professional and the act or incident happens while they are “on-the-job”.

In the past, monthly Highway Heroes have included truck driver Jason Lyall saving a colleague from a charging bull in stock yards near Balclutha (October 2005), three bus drivers, Yasser Ahmad, Thomas Roebuck and Ralph Davies, cornering a car being chased by police in Christchurch (October 2007) and countless other incidents where professional drivers have put themselves in danger to save the lives of others on the road.

The Beaurepaires Highway Heroes Award is open to any professional truck, bus or coach driver who performs brave, heroic or humanitarian acts in the course of their work. Heroes can be nominated by anyone through any Beaurepaires store, the local Police station or online at

Be on the look out for a hero; there’s a set of car tyres for the nominator of the supreme winner.

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