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.
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.