The launch of BMW’s new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder TwinPower engine was only the first in the new family of engines for the German automaker. Most of the engines available today in the BMW lineup will be redesigned so that they can share more parts.
The new engines are designed to be more efficient and follow the EfficientDynamics Strategy that BMW has in places. The engines will utilize a new common 500cc per cylinder base design, which also used Direct-Injection and Turbocharging and will range from 3 to 6-cylinder capacity.
Fuel intake and exhaust system will share components based on the fuel type and mounting and powertrains will also be standardized. Harland Unger, head of development for BMW inline engines stated, “Our goal is to have 60 percent of components hared between engines based on fuel type, and 40 percent commonality between gasoline and diesel engines.”
Future Twin-Power Turbo diesel engines will share fuel injectors, turbochargers, pistons, connecting rods, chain camshaft drives and noise-suppression covers. Additionally, Twin-Power Turbo engines will be used in hybrid powertrains. These applications explain the need for a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine rumored to be available in the 2014 BMW i8.
The 2013 BMW i3 is the German automaker’s first electric vehicle to go into mass production. The car will output 150 horsepower and will have a range of 160 miles on a full charge.
Luggage room is said to be 14.1 cubic feet, split between the space behind the rear seats and the “frunk” under the hood. The technique BMW is using to mount the floor battery has been said to be borrowed from the Rolls-Royce 102EX. BMW is also in the works with Siemens on a 3.6 kWh wireless recharging network to be launched in Berlin.
The 2013 i3 will be on a rear-wheel drive platform. The car will have extensive use of carbon fiber materials, an ultra-light component that will help combat weight issue. Aluminum parts will harmoniously integrate with carbon fiber to offer increased safety.
The electric car will measure around 157 inches and will eventually be offered in multiple models.
The first i3 is due in 2015 and BMW initially plans to produce 40,000 units per year.
BMW recently tipped its hand on a slew of new vehicles coming to its line up in the next few years. These new, or in some cases, redesigned, models are radically different for a company that builds “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” First and foremost, they will all feature standard front wheel drive. On the outside they will be noticeably smaller, allowing BMW to inch its way into the compact car market that so many consumers are demanding in these days of $4 fuel prices.
One of the first new models we can expect to see stateside relatively soon is the BMW X1. The little brother of the X3 SUV, as know as the baby-Bimmer, the X1 was expected to grace us with its presence in the first quarter of 2011, but is thus far a no-show. Its US launch has been delay due to higher than anticipated demand in Europe. The X1 is significantly smaller than the X3, gaining only a few inches over its cousin 1-series coupe, but still maintains a spacious interior reminiscent of a mid-size SUV. Its standard 4 cylinder gasoline powered engine is the most likely candidate for a US launch but hopefully we will get the 45 mpg diesel engine available as well. The X1 should prove to be viable high-end competition for Toyota RAV-4 and Ford Escape buyers.
Another sibling expected to be well received here in the United States is the long rumored Z2 Roadster. A shorted version of the sporty Z4, the Z2 Roadster has been rumored to be in the making for half a decade now but as of yet nothing has materialized. Recent public road test sightings lead us to believe that a 2013 model is a distinct possibility. Like the X1, the Z2 will feature a front wheel drive 4 cylinder engine. Likely a line of 4 cylinder models will be available with the top model expected to top out at 250 horsepower, plenty of force for a car only weighing 2,200lbs.
The smaller cars, accompanied with their lower price points should allow BMW to compete in a whole new market, making luxury more affordable.