The plant near Birmingham, which last year produced 440,000 engines and has recently produced its 3 millionth motor, will begin production of the low volume EV supercar’s engine prior to its market launch later in 2013.
The three-cylinder TwinPower turbo engine will produce 344bhp and 221lb ft of torque: it will be mated to a plug-in hybrid electric drive, giving 20 miles’ electric only running and 78mpg overall. Acceleration to 62mph will take less than 5 seconds.
BMW Board Member Ian Robertson said: “Our Hams Hall engine plant… will make an important contribution to the future success of the new BMW i brand.”
The UK production of the three-cylinder engine is part of the £500 million investment announced for Oxford and Hams Hall last year. It will be linked to production of the new Mini and will be an expansion of BMW’s plans to produce a range of new three-cylinder turbo engines.
“Hams Hall is a highly automated plant,” said Robertson, who added that the UK faced competition from Steyr in Austria and other German plans to build the new engine.
Hams Hall opened in February 2001 and facilities will be upgraded to produce BMW’s new generation of eco-focused internal combustion engines. It currently builds engines for the BMW 1 Series, F30 3 Series and X1, plus all Mini variants.