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Mark Antar Design
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McLaren's 3.8L V8 engine wins in the 3-liter to 4-liter category of the International Engine of the Year 2013 awards.

"McLaren Automotive ended its losing streak at the International Engine of the Year Awards when its fabulous 12C supercar V8 heart took first place in the hotly contested 3-litre to 4-litre category.

Last year at the International Engine of the Year Awards, McLaren’s tight 3.7-litre twinturbo powertrain was just edged out of first place in the Performance Engine contest by 24 points by the Ferrari 458 V8, and had to settle for second place in this category, losing out by only 16 points to the evergreen V8 in the BMW M3. But for 2013, McLaren pushed ahead thanks to a very late surge in voting, to come out top in its class by only 13 points, beating the M3 in its final year of production and ending a BMW M V8 winning run of five-years in the 3-litre to 4-litre arena.

The McLaren M838T co-developed Ricardo engine tips the scales at just 199kg and has had its power output increased for 2013 to generate 625ps at 7,500rpm. If that’s not impressive enough from a 3,799cc unit, there’s also 600Nm of torque to be had between 3,000rpm and 7,000rpm.

Technical highlights of this year’s winning 3-litre to 4-litre powertrain include a dry sump lubrication system and a flat plane crankshaft, which has enabled McLaren Automotive engineers to place the V8 extremely low within the 12C chassis. The engine, which benefits from turbochargers from MHI, is mated to a smooth dual-clutch seven-speed SSG transmission from Oerlikon Graziano, that channels the huge power and thrust with ease.

For Dan Carney, a freelance journalist in the USA, the package comes together perfectly, blending performance with economy that includes 11.6l/100km (24.2mpg) on combined and CO2 emissions of 279g/km: “McLaren’s V8 seems to manufacture power on an industrial scale despite its compact size. As car makers struggle to avoid fuel consumption penalties in super sports cars, more of them will develop engines like McLaren’s.""

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