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.
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.
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.