BMW has a fight on its hands as it guns for a fourth consecutive International Engine of the Year title.

The German company, which has scooped more trophies for engine excellence than any other company in the awards’ 10-year history, faces tough competition from more than 20 new entrants to the awards in 2008.

Expected to fare well are strong challenges from Japan. Subaru’s first-ever diesel is a much-respected effort, while Nissan’s 3.8-litre twin-turbo, found under the hood of the GT-R, and Mitsubishi’s 2.0-litre turbo in the EVO X are technologically advanced and powerful.

Strong contenders for BMW’s crown also come from Europe, with Audi’s 5-litre V10, Fiat’s small, but powerful, 1.4-litre Turbo, and Volvo’s 3.0-litre turbo from the V70 to name just three.

However, BMW also has new engines to help defend its No. 1 status: The mighty 4.0-litre V8 and the innovative 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel.

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