Bmw to build engines for its i8 plug-in hybrid electric supercar in the UK

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 13, 2012

BMW’s British Hams Hall engine facility will be the sole producer of the 1.5-litre petrol engine, which will be used to power its i8 plug-in hybrid electric supercar. Last year, this plant located near Birmingham built 440,000 engines. It recently marked the milestone of its 3 millionth motor. It will start producing the low volume EV supercar’s engine before it gets launched in the market in 2013.

The three-cylinder TwinPower turbo engine has an output of 344bhp and 221lb ft of torque. It is partnered with a plug-in hybrid electric drive that allows the car to be driven 20 miles using just electricity and returns 78mpg overall.

Going from zero to 62mph takes shorter than 5 seconds. According to BMW Board Member Ian Robertson, its Hams Hall engine plant is a major contributor to the success of the new BMW i brand. The production in the UK of the three-cylinder engine is included in the £500 million investment for Oxford and Hams Hall, which was announced in 2011. There will be a tie-up with the new Mini’s production.

BMW’s plans would also be expanded to offer a lineup of new three-cylinder turbo engines. Robertson also said that the UK plant faces competition from other plants such as Steyr, Austria and several in Germany to produce the new engine.

However, he emphasized that the Hams Hall is a “highly automated plant.” It opened in February 2001 but so that it could produce BMW’s new generation of eco-focused internal combustion engines, its facilities will get an upgrade. Presently, it produces engines for the BMW 1 Series, F30 3 Series and X1, as well as all Mini variants.

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