Motivated by the demand for the reduction of fuel consumption, in particular to meet the engine energy efficiency goals of the Brazilian incentives legislation (INOVAR AUTO), this paper proposes a method to identify potential for energy efficiency and exemplifies it through three engines of the Brazilian market.The proposed method consists in identify the engine losses in different operating points (speed x load) through combustion mapping and the basic formulations which describe the energy/losses share. These data are grouped into 12 map sections, allowing the identification of the ones with more improvement potential.The baseline engine is 1.6 l naturally aspirated, port injection and was tested with E100 fuel (100% Ethanol). Engine #2 is similar to the baseline but with 4 valves per cylinder and a lower viscosity oil. The engine #3 is a more advanced engine: turbo charged, direct fuel injection, variable valve train and piloted pumps.In the tested engines, the average energy efficiency is around 29%. The baseline engine is the one with more thermal losses. In urban conditions (low load and low speed), it was possible to identify a significant improvement potential when compared to the other two tested engines.The proposed method was compared with literature data and it may serve as an analytical tool for diagnosing potentials for component optimization.