Promotional video shows new 1.5-litre three-cylinder unit as well as new four-pot and FWD platforms
14 April 2011

BMW has revealed its down-sized three-cylinder engine on a marketing video, despite having not officially confirmed it will launch the motor.

Titled ‘The new BMW EfficientDynamics Engine family’ the computer animation shows how the three cylinder will effectively be half of a one of the company’s new generation 3.0-litre straight-six engines.

The new three-pot engine will be a 1.5-litre unit because all future BMW engines will be based on the same common 500cc cylinder design. It will also benefit from Valvetronic variable valve timing, high pressure fuel injection and will use a single, double-sided turbocharger.

See screen grabs of the new engines from the BMW promo video

Sitting above the three-cylinder will be a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, four-pot engine, made up of the same modular components.

The video shows the three cylinder engine being mounted transversely in two different body structures, presumably a hint that the engine will be used in both the next-generation Mini and BMW’s upcoming front-wheel drive small car. The animation of the four-cylinder is also mounted sideways, suggesting it is also compact enough to fit in the next Mini.

Read the full scoop on BMW's next 3-series

Some BMW sources have told Autocar that no decision has yet been made on fitting the three-cylinder engine to the next-generation 3-series. The cost of adapting the unit for longitudinal mounting and engineering the unit for greater refinement as well as possible customer to resistance to having such a small engine in a largish car are all cited as reasons for keeping the three-cylinder engine for front-drive use only.

The video also appears to reveal the basic form of the new corporate BMW front-drive chassis, which should be first seen under the Mini Mk3 (codenamed F56) scheduled for early 2013.

Hilton Holloway

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Join the debate


20 June 2014
A vehicle's power and efficiency is partially depending upon its engine and other substances. Most probably BMW is known for its efficient riding and performance and therefore it need best engine and power systems. So in this new cylindrical engine we have found several kinds of modern features and specification to develop our riding performance.

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