BMW i3 Electric Motor Among Ward’s “10 Best Engines Of 2015”

DEC 11 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 11

BMW i3 Electric Motor

BMW i3 Electric Motor

The 127-kW (170 HP) electric motor that propels the rear-wheel-drive BMW i3 has received a coveted “Best Engines” award from Ward’s Auto.

Here’s the eligibility criteria for selection by Ward’s Auto:

To be eligible for the Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition, an engine or propulsion system must be all-new or significantly re-engineered and available in the U.S. market with a base price not exceeding $60,000. This year’s pool of 37 nominees includes last year’s 10 winners and 27 new entries. Eight WardsAuto editors drove the vehicles in October and November in their routine daily commutes around metro Detroit. Editors scored each engine based on power, torque, technology, observed fuel economy, relative competitiveness and noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.

The i3’s electric motor was the only electric winner this year, though the 100-kW fuel cell in the Hyundai Tucson FCV did receive an award too.

Full press release below:

Ward’s 10 Best Engines of 2015 Announced by Penton’s WardsAuto

Honorees span most diverse and technically advanced engines in 21 years of recognized powertrain excellence

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Penton’s Wards 10 Best Engines of 2015 have been announced. A 707-hp fire-breathing V-8 and a hydrogen-powered fuel cell emitting nothing but water vapor were among all-new or improved powertrains evaluated by the editors of WardsAuto to produce its annual Ward’s 10 Best Engines list.

To be eligible for the Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition, an engine or propulsion system must be all-new or significantly re-engineered and available in the U.S. market with a base price not exceeding $60,000. This year’s pool of 37 nominees includes last year’s 10 winners and 27 new entries. Eight WardsAuto editors drove the vehicles in October and November in their routine daily commutes around metro Detroit. Editors scored each engine based on power, torque, technology, observed fuel economy, relative competitiveness and noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.

The 2015 Ward’s 10 Best Engines are:

127-kW Electric Motor (BMW i3 electric vehicle)
6.2L OHV V-8 (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)
6.2L Supercharged OHV V-8 (Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat)
1.0L Turbocharged DOHC 3-cyl. (Ford Fiesta)
100-kW Fuel Cell (Hyundai Tucson FCV)
1.5L Turbocharged DOHC 3-cyl. (Mini Cooper)
3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500 EcoDiesel)
2.0L Turbocharged DOHC H-4 (Subaru WRX)
1.8L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Volkswagen Jetta)
2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Volvo S60)

“We spend a lot of time reading the powertrain tea leaves throughout the auto industry, and we’re proud that this year’s list is a microcosm of all the latest innovation coming from automakers,” says WardsAuto World Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter. “It’s not just a list for enthusiasts or for environmentalists,” he says. “There’s something for every vehicle shopper and every budget. All the powertrains on this list deliver a first-rate driving experience.”

The awards will be presented to top powertrain executives from the winning automakers at a January 14 ceremony in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show. In the coming weeks, WardsAuto.com and the January issue of WardsAuto World magazine will provide commentary, profiles of the winning engines, videos and more information about the 2015 Ward’s 10 Best Engines.

About WardsAuto
WardsAuto is a world-leading provider of automotive insights and analysis, having served the industry’s information needs for more than 90 years. A Southfield, MI-based division of Penton, WardsAuto provides a forward-looking perspective on all aspects of the automotive business, from the tech center to the plant floor to the showroom. Its services include the premium WardsAuto.com resource and suite of customizable data reporting tools, the WardsAuto Interiors and WardsAuto Outlook Conferences, and digital newsletters and magazines. Subscribe to WardsAuto and attend its events by visiting http://www.wardsauto.com.

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11 Comments on "BMW i3 Electric Motor Among Ward’s “10 Best Engines Of 2015”"

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ELROY
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BMW continues its tradition of having some of the most award winning engines in the world.

Kevin
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Kevin

An engine is a subclass of motor which converts thermal energy to mechanical work. A motor is not an engine in general and is not an engine when we are referring to an electric motor.

Leptoquark
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Leptoquark

That was my concern as well. I think Wards broadened the definition of “engine” on the fly to mean something closer to “power plant”. In the Age of the Internet, it’s all good….

Goaterguy
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Goaterguy

Not to dis on BMW but why is this motor any better than the electric one in the Volt/Leaf/Tesla? More efficient? Smoother? Or was it the ONLY one introduced in the year tested? I know the Voltec drivetrain won the award a few years back.

Brian
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Brian

Neither the Leaf nor the Volt have an all-new motor. The Tesla is not available for under $60,000 base price. Therefore, none of those three qualify.

I fully expect Tesla to take this one home with the Model III. I know it won’t be in the same performance class as a Model S, but I expect it to be a class above the i3.

Goaterguy
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Goaterguy

So it won by default… ok. Again, nothing against BMW but a competition about the best anything should have competition or be a great improvement over the previous year winner. Winning because it’s the only one competing in the category doesn’t promote improvement.

Bill Howland
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Bill Howland

Depends whether Tesla wants to be true to its namesake and use “Tesla” (they never give any credit to George Westinghouse) motors (induction), or whether they want to gain 2% efficiency and use a permanent magnet such as most of the other manufacturers.

I’d keep the induction, but slow it down so that, overall, the gearbox was more efficient and long-lasting.

Bill Howland
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Bill Howland
Goaterguy: The Tesla ‘namesake’ implies ‘Tesla’s 130 year old ‘invention’. The quotes is that George Westinghouse should get honorable mention, since he did most of the work getting the things developed, and took care of practical issues. Its rather as if we were talking about something over lunch and you went ahead and ran with the idea discussed. But that’s not the subject here. So if a ‘Tesla’ must always have a ‘Tesla Motor’, there will always be around a 2% efficiency penalty. Other manufacturers use more modern designs. In short, I see nothing noteworthy about this motor which would not also apply to a Leaf or Volt. It may be considered superior to the Tesla, but then again, the Tesla motor is cheaper. Its not that big a deal anyway. I like induction motors and I certainly wouldn’t advise a ‘change in style’ of Tesla’s motor. My issue is with the screaming speed of the thing (hard on the gears). Again, Engines are usually considered to take a base fuel (sunlight, coal, nuclear, oil, gasoline, hydrogen, propane, etc), and convert it to motive power. Since this has already been done elsewhere for an electric motor, comparing it with ICE’s… Read more »
Robert
Guest

So, if I, or any Auto maker, took an existing motor and wrapped it in some fancy injection molded, carbon fibre casing, to make it 20% lighter, would that qualify as: “significantly re-engineered” enough to enter this contest?

Funny – the award is for motors/engines, but they price it based on it in the car; so – is this an Engine Award or is it a Car Award? Essentially – the Cost of the actual motor is unknown, as for this article/award style!

shawn marshall
Guest
shawn marshall

some monkeys pick nits all day long

Bill Howland
Guest
Bill Howland

Seems like a very odd award.

The I3’s performance is great, but there is nothing out of the ordinary with BMW’s motor.

Marathon Electric’s ‘SYMAX’ motors already exceed the European Union’s almost impossible to meet ‘iv4’ upcoming efficiency standard requirements, so they are another ‘off the shelf’ OEM for automakers.

The main difference here is that ICE’s are Prime Movers, whereas electrics are not. So efficiency comparisons are pretty meaningless.