Currently reading: BMW's three-cylinder engine plan
New unit is mooted to be launched in the 1-series.
Autocar
News
1 min read
8 June 2010

BMW is continuing development of its three-cylinder engine, which is mooted to be launched in the 1-series.

The engine is based on BMW's new common 500cc-per-cylinder design and uses direct injection and turbocharging.

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A source told Autocar: "This is not an entry-level unit. It's a serious, refined, sporting engine with great CO2 figures."

BMW sources have told Autocar that the next 1-series has been engineered to cope with the unique noise and vibration of a three-cylinder engine.

BMW has had experience with three-cylinder units in its motorcycles, where reducing NVH is crucial.

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Comments
10

8 June 2010

if they call it a 1.6 then it could fit in with everything motorsport and the new FIA world engine regulations.

8 June 2010

Penny Mallory, the rubbish automotive journalist, once dismissed the Aston Martin V12 engine that was in the DB7 Vantage as being "just two Mondeo engines stuck together" while trying to copy Tiff Needell's power sliding abilities and failing.

Wonder if she'll dismiss this one as being "just half of a 335i engine".....

8 June 2010

I want to like this engine, I really do, but honestly, sod it - give me the full blooded 3.0L straight six version any day...

8 June 2010

The last 3 cylinder engine I drove was a Suzuki and all I remember was a really sporty and revvy little engine that had a lot more character than a 4 cylinder equivalent. It sounded very similar to a V6 where a 4 cylinder sounds nothing like a V8.

If BMW engineer into this engine a very similar character it would be quite a desirable option

8 June 2010

I disagree, a 3 pot sounds like exactly half a V6, just as a 4 pot does to a V8 - you just have to really strain your ears to hear it.

If anything, the 3 pot Corsa I drove sounded closest to a Volvo 5 pot, a very similar off beat hum. If a little weedier!

But smoothed out or not, a 3 pot will only have half the firing pulses of a 6. I guess 95% of drivers won't notice, so I guess it will be fine for them.

8 June 2010

A really sensible move, a completely common architecture for all engines is good for costs. 3 pots sound great and with a turbo and potentially a kinetic energy recovery system you'd have a revvy little engine with plenty of torque too, lovely.

8 June 2010

[quote FriendlyFisherman]

3 pots sound great and with a turbo

[/quote]

Absolutely!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsJK3zRclN4[/youtube]

P.S. Okay, own up, who wants a Smart Roadster now?

8 June 2010

[quote ThwartedEfforts]P.S. Okay, own up, who wants a Smart Roadster now?[/quote]

Me! I don't mind to admit it lol love the little clatter from the wastegate.

8 June 2010

" 500cc-per-cylinder design" : the ideal number.

A L3 can have an interesting sound wich evokes a 6 cylinders. But they must combat well the vibrations.

9 June 2010

[quote david RS]A L3 can have an interesting sound wich evokes a 6 cylinders.[/quote]

True enough : on several occasions I have had the opportunity to drive the 107/c1/aygo triplets on mountain roads, and when revved properly that little 1 litre engine really sounds like a porsche flat six ... good sound, and nippy and economical to boot.

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