BMW Considering 2-Cylinder Engines for Future Models

BMW Considering 2-Cylinder Engines for Future Models

With reports indicating that BMW will move to using 3-cylinder engines in the next-generation MINI Cooper range (and possibly the 1 Series range as well), it still comes as a shock to hear execs at the German automaker talking about 2-cylinder power.

In a recent interview with Auto Motor und Sport, BMW’s product development boss, Dr. Klaus Draeger, hinted that 2-cylinder engines may wind up under the hood of some BMW and MINI models in the future. According to Draeger, the company would look at 500cc engines with a target of roughly 50 to 80-hp.

BMW wouldn’t be the first automaker to explore 2-cylinder engines either with Fiat recently unveiling the 500 TwinAir a the Paris Auto Show, sporting a 900cc displacement and a turbocharger to make 85-hp.

The reason for the engines isn’t just overall fuel economy, but the fact that gasoline engines are some of the cheapest to produce, whereas both diesel and hybrid engines cost considerably more – and for low cost urban runabouts, even small increases in the manufacturing and parts price can make a huge difference in overall cost.

Even if BMW does move ahead with plans to unveil a new line of 2-cylinder engines they’re likely still several years off. As for what products they could appear in, we’d look to the upcoming front-drive 1 Series hatches for Europe as well as the next-generation MINI Cooper, near the end of their life cycle. MINI is also rumored to be working on a new MINI Minor that would slot in underneath the Cooper – a vehicle that would likely be the perfect platform to debut 2-cylinder technology.

[Source: AMuS via MotoringFile]

  • Chad

    If you can knock the weight down to under 1500 lbs, an 80HP 500cc twin would work just fine. As for the cost savings, this is BMW. I am certain any cost savings they will gain, will be kept by them as they keep prices up to keep up the perception that good things must be more expensive.

  • Chad

    An 80HP twin should be fine if you can knock the car weight to below 1500 lbs. But this is BMW. Does anyone really think that a lower-cost engine will actually see a lower-cost car?

  • homebuilding

    How are they managing crankcase volume and breathing. With to cylinders up….the crankcase volume is at a max and with every downstroke, it’s at a minimum….that’s a lot of inbreathing and outbreathing in the case. How is this managed?

    With a four cylinder it’s balanced……and it can be balanced in the three cylinder