BMW M Division shifting to smaller turbo engines

BMW M Division shifting to smaller turbo engines

BMW M3 2009 fq

With new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards coming in the future, most automakers are in the process of developing engines that strike a balance between ultra-efficiency and high-performance. Well aware of the hard road ahead, BMW has begun development of the next generation 3 Series and 1 Series, both due for a new model in 2013.

According to Ludwig Willisch, BMW’s M division CEO, new turbocharged engines are on the horizon for the next M3 and 1 Series M.

This will see the M3 return to six-cylinders albeit turbocharged, replacing the current 4.0-litre V8, although BMW hasn’t decided if it will use a straight-six or a V6 powerplant.

Willisch said the new engine won’t be based on the current 3.0-litre inline six currently employed on the 335i and 135i, and it’s still too early in the development process to say which configuration will be used. BMW realises the inline-six’s light weight is a benefit when chasing fuel economy, but limited bonnet space may required the use of a V6.

Either way, the next M3 will be wider, but Willisch states, “Engines don’t need to be more powerful for the next car. As long as you have less weight, you have better performance.” The hardcore BMW purisits may gawk at the idea of a V6 powered Beemer, but there is a growing acceptance of the importance of weight reduction.

As for the 1 series, there won’t be an M version as such, but BMW’s in-house tuning division wants to relive the glory of the original E30 M3 by creating a smaller, lighter coupe to enter the range below the next M3. A twin-turbocharged four-cylinder will likely power the new coupe, and according to Willisch, the automaker is aiming for something that puts out around 300 hp and is lightweight.

Traditionally, the M variants arrive about a year after the new models are introduced, so expect the next M3 and 1 Series M to debut sometime in 2014.

BMW M3 2009 fq

With new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards coming in the future, most automakers are in the process of developing engines that strike a balance between ultra-efficiency and high-performance. Well aware of the hard road ahead, BMW has begun development of the next generation 3 Series and 1 Series, both due for a new model in 2013.

According to Ludwig Willisch, BMW’s M division CEO, new turbocharged engines are on the horizon for the next M3 and 1 Series M.

This will see the M3 return to six-cylinders albeit turbocharged, replacing the current 4.0-litre V8, although BMW hasn’t decided if it will use a straight-six or a V6 powerplant.

Willisch said the new engine won’t be based on the current 3.0-litre inline six currently employed on the 335i and 135i, and it’s still too early in the development process to say which configuration will be used. BMW realises the inline-six’s light weight is a benefit when chasing fuel economy, but limited bonnet space may required the use of a V6.

Either way, the next M3 will be wider, but Willisch states, “Engines don’t need to be more powerful for the next car. As long as you have less weight, you have better performance.” The hardcore BMW purisits may gawk at the idea of a V6 powered Beemer, but there is a growing acceptance of the importance of weight reduction.

As for the 1 series, there won’t be an M version as such, but BMW’s in-house tuning division wants to relive the glory of the original E30 M3 by creating a smaller, lighter coupe to enter the range below the next M3. A twin-turbocharged four-cylinder will likely power the new coupe, and according to Willisch, the automaker is aiming for something that puts out around 300 hp and is lightweight.

Traditionally, the M variants arrive about a year after the new models are introduced, so expect the next M3 and 1 Series M to debut sometime in 2014.

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