The Engine Within The BMW i8

AUG 4 2014 BY STAFF 7

The first purpose-built, plug-in hybrid sports car from BMW is on sale in several countries now, including the UK. i8 is powered by engines exclusively produced at BMW’s Hams Hall engine manufacturing facility, near Birmingham.

The BMW i8 is a brand-new contemporary, sustainability-focused sports car. It is the first BMW production vehicle to be powered by a three-cylinder engine and together with BMW eDrive technology is able to combine the dynamics of a high-performance sports car with the fuel efficiencies of a small car. Demand in the UK is high and already the BMW i8 has sold out for more than a year.

A brand-new, unique production facility has been developed at the Hams Hall plant for the world-wide production of the new three-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo technology petrol engines – the first of a new generation of engines to be built at the plant.

BMW i8 Engine

BMW i8 Engine

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on BMWBLOG.  Check it out here.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “The British-made engine for this ground-breaking car demonstrates that the UK automotive industry is at the forefront of the production of high-quality, low emission car technology. As our recent commitment to invest £500m in ultra-low emission vehicle design, production and adoption shows, we want the UK to be a world leader in the global transition to ultra-low emission motoring.”

Plant director, Nick Spencer, said:

“Our plant is going through a huge transformation, and we are excited to see the first of our brand-new engine assembly facilities ramping up production. The new three-cylinder petrol engines will enable the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car to set new standards for dynamic performance in combination with industry-leading fuel efficiency and low carbon emission levels. With the exclusive supply of these engines coming from the Hams Hall plant, we are proud to be contributing to this innovative new sports car.”

BMW i8 Engine

BMW i8 Engine

Each engine is built by a small team of people, all of whom previously worked at the plant and have been specifically recruited and trained to work on the new engines. Two technical apprentices who spent the final year of their training programme working on the development of the new production area are now placed in full-time technical jobs within the new team having successfully completed their apprenticeships.

Former apprentice James Law said:

“My apprenticeship was an ideal combination of academic study, through which I achieved higher qualifications, along with practical, invaluable work placements. It has been a fantastic opportunity to see this new engine manufacturing facility being installed and I’m thrilled to have successfully completed my apprenticeship and to be working in such an interesting, technical role within the new team.”

BMW i8 Engine

BMW i8 Engine

The Hams Hall plant already has a sustained 13-year history of manufacturing over 3.5 million small, fuel efficient and low emission engines since its official opening in 2001. Over 400,000 engines were produced during 2013 representing around 16 per cent of all engine production in the UK. Ramping up production of this new facility forms the first part of an ongoing multi-million pound development programme at the Hams Hall site which will continue into next year.

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7 Comments on "The Engine Within The BMW i8"

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A page long article on an engine without ever mentioning its displacement, that’s a real performance. Kind of like the question game where you are never allowed to say yes or no.
Well I will spoil the game for all the others that also wonder: 1499 cc I3 turbo 170 kW.

Thx for the cc and displacement number.
I would have guessed a smaller displacement than that for a 3 cylinder.

I’m guessing it’s a fairly long stroke but not sure. What’s the redline?

I wonder if they are setting records for boost level on a production car.

The normal bmw 6 cyclinder (35i) has stroke bore of 89.6 / 84.0 and produces 225 kw of power. The i8 turbo has a stroke/bore of 94.6/82 and produces 170 kw of power. Both produce max hp at 5800 rpm.

So yes stroke is longer, but only by 5 mm, and boost is higher than just cutting off half of the 6 cylinder.

335i=306hp/3.0ltr, or 102hp per liter
i8=228hp/1.5ltr, or 152hp per liter

That’s the impressive part. The jump is massive, and under appreciated because after-all, it’s just a PHEV.

It’s what you would expect in engine displacement. BMW typically runs around a half liter per cylinder.

Very interesting.
A German car’s engine made in the UK.
Who would a thunk.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

No stranger than Rolls Royce being owned by Ze Germans.. Whatever would Field Marshall Montgomery think of that?