BMW and Mercedes both working on three-cylinder petrol engines

Interesting | August 2nd, 2009 by 16
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Some of the most interesting BMW news in the last few months revolved around BMW’s future plans to build three-cylinder engines which will power the next generation 1 and 3 Series. The 3-cylinder engines will power some of the entry level vehicles and smaller mild hybrid platforms, including the BMW Z2.

Back in May, we learned that these engines are currently in a testing phase and are still about two years away from the launch date. BMW sources have told Autocar that the next 1-series has been engineered to cope with the unique noise, vibration and harshness of a three-cylinder engine, all characteristics of this type of engine.

BMW already has experience with this technology which has been used in its Motorcycle division.

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Autocar UK reports that Mercedes-Benz is working on three-cylinder turbocharged unites as well which will make their way into the C-Class models. “A three-cylinder engine in the C-class is quite conceivable,” said Daimler’s board member in charge of R&D, Dr Thomas Weber.

While BMW’s three cylinder 1.35-liter engine is rumored to output anywhere from 122 to 180 horsepower and 162 lb-ft (220Nm) of torque, Merecedes-Benz talks about a 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo engine with 168 horsepower and 150-185 lb-ft (203-250Nm) of torque.

These engines with less cylinders and displacement from both automakers will make up the performance by being turbocharged.

BMW plans to release their three-cylinder engine within two years, most likely coinciding with the new generation 1 Series. Merecedes-Benz told Autocar that the first three-cylinder powerplant from them will go on sale in the next four to five years.

[Source: Autocar ]