BMW reveal three-cylinder engine

BMW are set to follow Ford’s example of smaller, more frugal engines after the Munich-based firm revealed their 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbocharged unit. The engine will be made available for all upcoming front-wheel drive BMWs and also in next year’s new Mini.

Two versions are in development, a petrol (codenamed B38) and a diesel (B37) and it is believed they will be anywhere between five and 15 per cent more efficient than the company’s current four-pot engines.

They will benefit from Valvetronic variable valve timing and a single turbo. Power outputs for the petrol should range from 120bhp and 200bhp and torque is thought to be pretty reasonable also, sitting between 132lb ft and 198lb ft.

For the diesel, it will share around 60 per cent of its design with the petrol unit and will give power outputs between 100bhp and 181bhp, with slightly elevated torque figures between 166lb ft and 221lb ft.

This is part of BMW’s grand plan to have all engines based on the same 5oocc cylinder and the B38 is thought to lined up first for the revolutionary i8 hybrid supercar, where it will mate with a battery pack that it will help recharge.

A new four-cylinder engine is believed to be in the works, too. The B48 is thought to be related to the B38 and will be used for the next-gen Mini Cooper S, punching out over 220bhp. Expect more details in the New Year.