BMW has revealed its new three-cylinder petrol engine, destined for the 1-series, 3-series and next year's new Mini
13 September 2012

This is the all-new, BMW 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine. It will find its way under the bonnet of next year’s new Mini, the new front-drive BMW family and, it’s rumoured, today’s rear-drive 1-series and 3-series models. 

Codenamed B38 (petrol) and B37 (diesel), it will come in petrol and diesel forms and is expected to be between five and 15 per cent more economical than BMW’s current N20 four-cylinder engines. 

Built on an alloy block, the engine gets Valvetronic variable valve timing, a single turbo, 11.0:1 compression ratio and a longer stroke than the N20. It has been engineered as part of BMW future modular engine strategy, which sees all engines based on the same individual 500cc cylinder. 

BMW says the petrol engine will develop between 40bhp and 66bhp per cylinder, giving the various versions power outputs of between 120bhp and 200bhp. The torque outputs are expected to be between 44lbft and 66lb ft giving a range of 132lb ft and 198lb ft. 

The B37 diesel engine shares up to 60 per cent of its architecture with the petrol engine and can be made on the same production line. The diesel engine output will range between 100bhp and 181bhp and 166lb ft and 221lb ft of torque. 

The engine is likely to first appear in the rear of the BMW i8 hybrid supercar, where it will be equipped with a generator to help recharge the battery pack. BMW's Hams Hall plant is expected to produce the new engine.

BMW is also preparing the B48, the four-cylinder sister engine of the B38. It is expected to power models including the next-generation Mini Cooper S, to be shown in late 2013. The engine is expected to produce in excess of 220bhp.

Greg Kable/Hilton Holloway

Our Verdict

BMW 1 Series

A final facelift for the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 Series, as it aims to take class honours from the formidable Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Join the debate

Comments
12

13 September 2012

I wonder how long it will take some bright spark at BMW to think of joining 2 togther and make an interesting engine?

13 September 2012

artill wrote:

I wonder how long it will take some bright spark at BMW to think of joining 2 togther and make an interesting engine?

What - BMW make a V shaped petrol engine? surely that's heresy!

13 September 2012

Orangewheels wrote:

artill wrote:

I wonder how long it will take some bright spark at BMW to think of joining 2 togther and make an interesting engine?

What - BMW make a V shaped petrol engine? surely that's heresy!

There is more than one way to join blocks, they could do it lengthways!

Anyway, as for a V shaped petrol engine, i dont recall BMW making many straight eights, let alone straight twelves. 

14 September 2012

artill wrote:

Orangewheels wrote:

artill wrote:

I wonder how long it will take some bright spark at BMW to think of joining 2 togther and make an interesting engine?

What - BMW make a V shaped petrol engine? surely that's heresy!

There is more than one way to join blocks, they could do it lengthways!

Anyway, as for a V shaped petrol engine, i dont recall BMW making many straight eights, let alone straight twelves. 

They could reinvent the wheel and make a V3.  Put the additional cylinder on top of the two opposing cylinders and think of some new technology with a baffling name (balanceous maybe) to balance the whole engine out. 

 

14 September 2012

Orangewheels wrote:

What - BMW make a V shaped petrol engine? surely that's heresy!

V12 used in McLaren F1

V12 used in various 7 Series and the 850

V10 - M5

V8 - Various 5 and 7 series and current M3

13 September 2012

The last time BMW built a 1.5litre turbo engine it had 1400BHP. 200BHP? pah Wink

13 September 2012

If this tops at 200 hp, what will power the next gen JCW cars?

 

 

13 September 2012

tuga wrote:

If this tops at 200 hp, what will power the next gen JCW cars?

Well, considering the article ends with saying that the 4 cylinder version (B38) of this engine will be in the Cooper S, I guess that will Smile

13 September 2012

superstevie wrote:

tuga wrote:

If this tops at 200 hp, what will power the next gen JCW cars?

Well, considering the article ends with saying that the 4 cylinder version (B38) of this engine will be in the Cooper S, I guess that will Smile

Prety sure that paragraph wasn't there when i posted, but whatever. I'd expect it to have much more than 220hp, seeing as their current 2.0L is already available with 245.

Thanks anyway superstevie.

 

 

13 September 2012

Ahh you know what Autocar are like for updating! I;ve just read what I wrote, sorry for sounding ar$y

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Golf MHEV
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    VW's 48V mild hybrid technology is still a few years away from production, but we’ve sampled a prototype Golf fitted with it and are suitably impressed
  • Jeep Compass
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    Jeep enters the competitive compact SUV market with its new Compass, blending ruggedness with contemporary styling and tech
  • BMW 1 Series Saloon
    We had a short drive in a China-only front-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    A brief drive in a China-only front-wheel-drive model shows the future is bright for the 1 Series when it makes the switch from RWD next year
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Toyota Prius PHEV
    First Drive
    23 November 2017
    Does running a plug-in hybrid really make sense as a 500-mile-a-week driver? Six months with a Toyota Prius Plug-in should give a conclusive answer