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Dr. Klaus Draeger: New N37 3-cylinder engines not a priority for new BMW 3 Series

Rumors | July 11th, 2011 by 4
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BMW’s head of development, Klaus Draeger, spoke with Autocar UK on the next generation BMW 3 Series and the all-new N37 three-cylinder engines. According to …

BMW’s head of development, Klaus Draeger, spoke with Autocar UK on the next generation BMW 3 Series and the all-new N37 three-cylinder engines. According to Dr. Draeger, the new engines are not a priority for the 2012 3 Series and will be first used in the upcoming front-wheel drive BMW cars.

“They are not a priority for the 3-series,” Draeger told Autocar last week. “We’ll start with the front-wheel drive architecture and more price-sensitive models.”

The N37 engines have a 1.5 liter capacity with each cylinder being 500cc.

Dr. Klaus Draeger: New N37 3 cylinder engines not a priority for new BMW 3 Series

Rendering BMW FWD vehicle

Future BMWs will use new turbocharged three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, the company’s development boss, Klaus Draeger, has confirmed.

Draeger revealed that the petrol version of the engine has the potential to match the maximum 54bhp-per-cylinder rating of the firm’s recently introduced turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder N20. The suggested 160 horsepower will be sufficient to power the new and lighter BMW FWD and MINI cars.

Draeger also hinted that the compact powerplant, which is set to be produced at BMW’s Hams Hall factory in the UK, is capable of achieving C02 emissions of 95g/km.

Dr. Draeger explained that the efficiency of the N37 engine comes from its 
capacity-to-surface-area ratio, 
which he describes as being better than any existing BMW 
engine for thermal performance.

Despite having less cylinders, the new three-cylinder engines are far from cheap. “The three-cylinder engines are not cheap. They are every bit as hi-tech as our four and six-cylinder engines,” said Dr. Draeger.

The new 2012 BMW 3 Series sedan will be unveiled this fall with first units arriving in the U.S. in Spring 2012. The new 3 Series Coupe and Convertible will be rebadged as 4 Series models and will arrive in early 2013.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

    Ford has made a 2-cycle direct oil-injection  1.2l 3 cylinder engine in a mid-90’s that produced about 120HP and easily met the emission levels of the time.
    Trouble with that was the cost and the path Ford was headed. At the time, Clinton was on top and fuel prices were 1.05-1.20 across the USA.  Nobody wanted to hear a fuel sipping 1.2l engine , a 2-cycle on top.
    The trick way they fixed the oil injection and other problems with the 2-cycle got me exciting.  Nothing ever happened to that engine sadly… last 3 cylinder actually sounded good on paper.

  • Nnnn

    Interesting post.

    This idea of “capacity to surface-area ratio” seems to suggest the loss of energy as heat through the cylinder walls.   If that’s a significant issue, why don’t they use low-conductivity materials — like titanium?   Ti-lined combustion chambers (or a Ti block) might lose 90% less heat than Al does.  That would mean slightly increased performance and exhaust pressure for the turbos.

    In fact, if you could reduce the heat aborbed by the engine to such a small fraction, you can virtually eliminate the water cooling system, and that is significant forward weight savings.

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