News - BMW

BMW premieres tiny turbo-triple

Lucky number three: The tiny triple will likely debut as a supplementary power source in the forthcoming BMW i8 plug-in sportscar.

Compact 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engines to join BMW model range from 2013

BMW logo14 Sep 2012

17/09/2012BMW has revealed its latest TwinPower petrol and diesel engines, a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit designed for a forthcoming range of compact front-drive models due in late 2013.

Also likely to serve in both the next Mini and as a preliminary power source for the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, the tiny triple joins the closely-related 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder ‘Efficient Dynamics’ engines that power the majority of the current BMW range.

As reported today, BMW’s front-drive Compact Active Tourer plug-in hybrid will feature this engine alongside a small electric motor when it makes its public debut at the Paris motor show on September 27.

The 1.5-litre engines are said to feature an unsurpassed degree of commonality, sharing up to 60 per cent of components and designed to be built on the same production line for the first time, allowing BMW to streamline its manufacturing and cut development costs.

BMW says this strategic commonality – similar to programs undertaken by the likes of Volkswagen and Volvo – is a key factor in the expansion of its current portfolio, likely pointing the future range of front- and all-wheel-drive compacts.

The new family of engines is based upon optimised cylinder modules, each with a capacity of about 500cc, designed for thermodynamic efficiency and smooth operation – the latter trait is said to carry over to the “remarkably smooth” 1.5-litre triple.

BMW claims the petrol can develop anywhere between 90kW/180Nm and 150kW/270Nm, while the diesels will produce between 75kW/225Nm and 135kW/300Nm.

All BMW’s TwinPower engines use an aluminium block, double Vanos infinitely variable cam-control, Valvetronic variable cam-timing and direct injection, with the option of single- twin- or triple-turbochargers.

The automatic transmission to be available with this engine has been “given the gift of site”, using data from the navigation system to plot the course ahead and make suitable adjustments in advance rather than on-the-fly.

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