BMW is looking to bring three-cylinder engines in the United States. According to Automotive News, and somewhat not surprising, the new highly efficient three-cylinder banger will be offered in the next generation MINI that comes to the U.S. sometimes in 2014. Just as we reported last month, the 1.5 liter engine will also make its way in the 2014 BMW i8.
“Hybrids with a three-cylinder engine are coming rapidly,” said Ian Robertson, BMW AG board member for sales and marketing, at the Paris auto show for Automotive News.
Furthermore, Robertson said that customers don’t necessary want to “know the ins and outs” of their engine, “but they want performance.” A vision we share as well, especially at these times when many customers are simply buying the car based on performance numbers and fuel consumption indicators.
The “Baby-Six,” a 1.5 liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine, is built on the 500cc per cylinder architecture. The compact engine has the same genes as the award-winning 3.0 liter six-cylinder unit, but with its own personality. “The 3-cylinder has its own character and sounds, doesn’t make you think it’s a 3-cylinder engine, ” Dr. Bernardo Lopez Alvaredo, Powertrain, Head of Function Operation Evaluation, BMW AG told BMWBLOG.
In Europe, the entry-level engine will be used for both hybrids and front-wheel drive vehicles, but the possibility of a rear-wheel drive vehicle powered by the same engine remains on the table. Dr. Lopez said that essentially, any BMW up to 1,300 kilograms is a candidate for the small engine.
The power unit is estimated to produce around 120-220 hp.