BMW says new 3-cylinder engine might not make it to next 3-Series [video]

The new 1.5 liter 3-cylinder power plant will feature Twin Power turbocharging and be good for an output of around 110 kW / 150 PS

A recent BMW CGI presentation revealed how the brand's upcoming 3-cylinder engine is basically devised from splitting an inline 6-pot in two, which you can see in the CGI animation video posted above.

That upcoming engine will feature Twin Power turbocharging technology which should make the 1.5 liter unit good for around 110 kW / 150 PS - a proper fit for an entry-level variant of the upcoming 2012 3-Series.

But the video shows the power plant being mounted transversely into an engine bay and BMW sources have told Autocar that there are issues involved in fitting that new 3-cylinder engine into the next 3-Series.

BMW customers may balk at what has always been an longitudinally-mounted engine in a rear-wheel drive 3-Series. BMW also says there are costs involved in making the modifications required to mount the 3-cylinder transversely in the next 3er.

BMW may simply opt to use the engine on MINI models as well as on its upcoming lineup of front-drive vehicles including models such as the i3.

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Comments (13)

Han Solo Han Solo
At last someone who understands what I'm actually trying to say...Thank You Mister Stig... No offense sideskraper, real drivers know how a real car should handle and feel like.
Apr 19th, 2011 3:34am
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sideskraper sideskraper
You mistake lack of caring with lack of understanding. If a car doesn't deliver what I want from it, I will simply look elsewhere. Thanks for proving my point.
Apr 19th, 2011 6:02am
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sideskraper sideskraper
I love this future for BMW. If only for the anguish that it causes the pimply faced teenage masses that post on WCF.
Apr 18th, 2011 5:32am
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Mister Stig Mister Stig
Rubbish. BMW's are known for their impecable handling, and perfomance, which is due in the greatest part to RWD, and the near perfect 50/50 weight distribution. A FWD BMW will have neither - making it less than the perfect driving machine, that real performance drivers prefer....
Apr 18th, 2011 1:02pm
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sideskraper sideskraper
I can see your forehead veins bulging from here.
Apr 19th, 2011 6:00am
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Han Solo Han Solo
Yap I totally agree with you benz_man. There are so many issues with a Tranversely mounted FWD, such as: 1. Torque Steer issues 2. Drive Shaft (wear and tear and precision driving issues) If I can just get my hands on the Jerk who came up with this stupid idea? BMW has been the Ultimate Driving Machine all these years because of one thing and one thing only and that is because of their Longditudinally mounted RWD configuration. It is your most valuable Trade Mark...dont loose it BMW.
Apr 18th, 2011 4:07am
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benz_man benz_man
Actually, I see FWD BMWs in the future. BMW cut there teeth w/FWD while engineering the Mini, they know how to make it fun. TQ-steer issues are solved with equal length but varied diameter half-shafts. Dana and ZF (the suppliers who make most of BMWs RWD CV-joints and diff assemblies) make FWD axles too, so wear isnt a big issue. The issue is putting all that juice to the ground AND turning at the same time. The 1-series (and an even smaller new model) should be fwd. 3's and up stay rwd at all costs!
Apr 19th, 2011 5:04pm
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wcfuser14369 wcfuser14369
Such a chore to mount it longitudinally? Caterham seens to have no problem taking traditional front wheel drive engines and mounting them north south with drive channeled to the rear, so I can't see it defeating the boffins in Munich.
Apr 15th, 2011 8:33pm
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droid_dtm droid_dtm
I agree, this should be a no brainer for the supposed 'technical wizards' at BMW. Being a Mazda driver myself, their 323F and Miata models come to mind since they shared a 1.6 and 1.8 engine, with a transverse setup in the 323, and a longitudinal one in the Miata.
Apr 15th, 2011 9:54pm
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Microice Microice
That may seem like the case but I feel with the 1 series going FWD and M5 going AWD don't be shocked if 3er goes front wheel.
Apr 15th, 2011 10:40pm
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benz_man benz_man
The day the 3 goes fwd is the day BMW loses ALL credibility...
Apr 16th, 2011 8:42am
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alamak alamak
kinda weird to pop the hood of a BMW and see a transversely mounted engine. it will be interesting to see if they can make it with their famous 50/50 weight distribution with that layout in a future 3'er
Apr 15th, 2011 8:13pm
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bboothy bboothy
Correction: the i3 is not FWD. It will have a MR layout according to Autoblog. Anyways 150HP is a bit anemic for a 3000lb car, but that 3-cyl turbo diesel would be awesome in the city cars, minis or any of the new hybrid lineup!
Apr 15th, 2011 7:54pm
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