BMW to redesign its gasoline and diesel engines so they can share more parts

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 16, 2011

BMW AG is targeting for 60% of its components to be shared between engines based on fuel type and for its gasoline and diesel engines to have a 40% commonality. BMW said that it plans to redesign its gasoline and diesel engines so that more parts could be shared. The same single-cylinder displacement of around 500 cubic centimeters will be used on the three-, four- and six-cylinder engines.

They will also get a common engine block design. Components will be shared by fuel intake and exhaust systems based on the fuel type, gasoline or diesel. The powertrains’ mounting points will be standardized for both transverse and longitudinal installations. For now, several of BMW's engines are derived from other engines but they share few parts. This new lineup of Twin-Turbo Power engines is expected to debut in three to four years.

With this new engine program from BMW, it may mean that the suppliers will consolidate. At a press event last month, Harald Unger, head of development of BMW inline engines, said that Schaeffler Group and Hydraulik-Ring provide variable valve timing mechanisms for gasoline four- and six-cylinder engines. It’s likely that there may be only one in the future.

The number of identical variable valve timing mechanisms, which are referred to as Vanos units, will triple. Unger said that the engineering design for components has been set but that it will depend on purchasing to establish the names and the number of suppliers that will be granted the business.

In addition, BMW will use numerous suppliers for turbochargers and other components like solenoid fuel injectors. The ranks of these suppliers may also be lowered. Last year, BMW made over 1.4 million four- and six-cylinder engines. In the 2012 BMW X1 xDrive28i SUV, a precursor four-cylinder Twin-Power Turbo engine was launched.

The 2.0-liter gasoline engine makes use of BMW's variable valve timing as well as direct fuel injection and a turbocharger. BMW intends for the smaller four-cylinder to replace a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, which has more power and is more efficient.

What the Twin-Power Turbo diesel engines of three, four and six cylinders will share are fuel injectors, turbochargers, pistons, connecting rods, chain camshaft drives and noise-suppression covers. Furthermore, Twin-Power Turbo engines will be featured in hybrid powertrains. These applications illustrate how important a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine would be. The V-8, V-10, and V-12 engine programs won’t be influenced by the Twin-Power Turbo program.

Topics: bmw, engine, technology

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