BMW AG, the world’s largest premium carmaker announced that the new generation of high-tech, 3-cylinder petrol engines for the future BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car will be produced exclusively at the BMW engine plant at Hams Hall, near Birmingham – UK.
With the launch of the i3 and i8, BMW is seeking to be among the first to mass produce electric cars, although money and resources have been poured into development at a time when market demand is still modest.
The i8 combines the electric drive system of the BMW i3, with a 96 kW (129 hp) electric motor located in the front axle powering the front wheels and at the rear is a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine producing 164 kW (220 hp) and 300 N-m (220 lbf-ft) of torque.
Unlike most concepts, BMW pledges hard performance targets of 0-60 mph in about five seconds, some 19 miles on electric power alone, a top speed of 155 mph and fuel economy of 94 mpg in European testing.
The engine production facility at Hams Hall was the first BMW engine plant to be built outside Germany and Austria.
Production commenced in 2001 and the Hams Hall plant has since played a crucial role in BMW Group’s international production network producing four-cylinder petrol engines for both BMW and MINI.
In a separate announcement, BMW said last week that it has just built its 3 millionth UK engine at Hams Hall in Birmingham. The engine, a 1.6 litre petrol, will go into a Mini destined for India, which is a nice symbol of Britain’s growing automotive exports.