BMW may be reknown for its inline-six engines but the automaker is set to introduce an engine that's effectively cut in half in order to meet future fuel economy and emissions regulations. As such, it has detailed its upcoming three-cylinder 1.5-liter engine that uses a turbocharger.
It will be available in both diesel and gasoline versions, each codenamed B37 and B38, respectively, AutoCar learned. BMW figures indicate the engines will offer fuel economy improvements between 5 and 15 percent compared to the 2.0-liter N20 turbo and direct injection inline-four that was recently introduced.
The powerplant is based on a modular, 500cc cylinder design. Various outputs of the gasoline engine will be offered, with early numbers ranging from 120 and 200 horsepower, along with 132 to 198lb-ft of torque.
The diesel, meanwhile, will share as much as 60 percent of its design with the gas engine, allowing it to be built on the same production line. It will produce between 100 and 181 horsepower along with 166 to 221lb-ft of torque.
Common design features include an alloy block, Valvetronic variable valve timing, an 11.0:1 compression ratio, and a single turbocharger. The stroke will be longer than that of the N20.
After debuting in the i8 supercar hybrid where it will do work as a generator, the engine will then power the 2014 Mini, front-wheel-drive BMWs, and likely the current 1- and 3-series cars as well, though these are likely to be offered in markets outside of North America.