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First look: BMW slams down a 400Nm turbo six!

Force-fed: All-new turbo six is expected to debut in the new 3 Series coupe.

BMW reveals a potent new twin-turbo inline six that delivers 225kW and a gutsy 400Nm

21 Feb 2006

TRUE to form, BMW has not unveiled an all-new segment-busting concept ahead of world debut at the Geneva motor show next week.

Instead, the independent German maker has delivered full details and pictures of the bristling new production-ready twin-turbo inline six off which it will officially whip the covers on February 28.

Widely rumoured for some time as an effective way for BMW to bridge the gap between its famed magnesium-alloy inline six-cylinder engine family and the Bavarian marque’s base 4.0-litre V8, the 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre force-fed six-pack will do precisely that.

While BMW remains coy about exactly which models it will grace, expect the all-aluminium (not magnesium) six to power the forthcoming E92 3 Series coupe in a new 335Ci-badged variant, the 5 Series sedan (in which it should revive the 535i nameplate) and possibly the 6 Series coupe/convertible and 7 Series sedan.

However, the next M3 remains odds-on to be powered by high-performance 4.0-litre V8 derived from the M5/M6’s 373kW 5.0-litre V10.

14 center imageStretching its inline six-cylinder performance peak beyond the 195kW currently offered in the 130i Sport, the biturbo six employs new technologies such as two low-inertia turbos feeding a trio of cylinders each to "eliminate" turbo lag.

Of course, the new mill features the double-VANOS and VALVETRONIC valve actuation systems from its existing engines, but the addition – for the first time in a BMW six-cylinder engine – of direct injection from the 760Li’s 6.0-litre V12 is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by a further 10 per cent.

The result is the same 225kW peak power output as offered by the 740i and 540’s 4.0-litre V8 – which weighs 70kg more.

The huffed six offers even more torque than BMW’s base V8 (which produces 390Nm), with a "Table Mountain-like" curve that peaks between just 1500rpm and 5800rpm. That’s 15 per cent more power than the 130i and 30 per cent more torque. Redline is a lofty 7000rpm.

After extolling the virtues of naturally-aspirated engines for two decades – since the turbocharged 185kW 3.2-litre straight six-engined 745i was discontinued in 1986 – BMW now appears ready to embrace turbo technology.

Its accompanying press release detailed the company’s history of turbocharged road cars, which dates back to the 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo.

"Now BMW is ready to open a new chapter in turbocharged petrol-engined road cars and reset the benchmark for dynamic driving with forced-induction," says BMW.

BMW will also use Geneva to reveal the production version of the Z4 Coupe concept that debuted at Frankfurt in September. It’s due on sale here in the second half of this year.

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