New details emerge on BMW’s new turbocharged 3-cylinder engine image

BMW has pulled the wraps off its new 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder turbocharged engine which will power the new Mini and the front-drive 1 Series.

Renowned for its powerful large engines, BMW was forced by ever stricter emissions regulations to develop a small, more fuel-efficient unit. According to a report from Autocar magazine, the 1.5-liter will come both in petrol and diesel forms and is expected to be 5-15 percent more frugal than BMW’s current N20 four-cylinder engines.

The B38 (petrol) and B37 (diesel) engines will power the new Mini, the new front-wheel drive family and possibly the RWD 1-Series and 3-Series current models. The engine block is made from alloy, uses Valvetronic variable valve timing, has a 11:1 compression ratio and a longer stroke than the N20. It also has a single turbo and has been conceived as part of BMW future modular engine strategy, in which all engines will be based on the same individual 500cc cylinder.

The petrol engine will develop between 120 and 200 horsepower, while the diesel will have between 100 and 181 horsepower. The latter is likely to debut on BMW’s i8 hybrid supercar. The new 1.5-liter engines will be built at the Hams Hall plant in the UK.

BMW is also developing the B48, the four-cylinder version of the B38, which will power the next-generation Mini Cooper S and will develop over 220 horsepower.