BMW is developing a new family of modular turbocharged engines which will eventually be used across the entire range of cars from 2015. The concept is that the firm have designed a single cylinder which is around 500cc that can be used as a four- or six-cylinder but it can also be reduced to three-cylinder.
This will mean a 1.5-litre engine for three-cylinder units, 2.0-litre engine for four-cylinder engines and a 3.0-litre engine for six-cylinder engines. The engines will be mounted transversely for front-wheel drive cars and longitudinally in those with rear-wheel drive.
The petrol engines will put out 68hp per cylinder with 54hp per cylinder for the diesels. This engine family can be used with electric motors in hybrid and be turbocharged for high performance vehicles.
This approach will reduce costs, allow for greater production flexibility. It is hoped the the savings can be passed on to buyers too.