BMW announced this week that the new generation of three-cylinder gas engines for the i8 PHEV sports car will be produced exclusively at the BMW engine plant.
Electric Beemers to the rescue of Cool Britannia’s battered auto industry? BMW announced this week that the new generation of three-cylinder gas engines for the i8 PHEV sports car will be produced exclusively at the BMW engine plant at Hams Hall, near Birmingham.
BMW board member Ian Robertson said, “our Hams Hall engine plant, which last week celebrated production of the three-millionth engine since the plant was opened in February 2001, will make an important contribution to the future success of the new BMW i brand and the company’s strategy for achieving sustainable mobility. The new 3-cylinder petrol engines will enable our future BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car to set new standards for dynamic performance in combination with industry-leading fuel-efficiency and low carbon emission levels.”
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “BMW’s decision to produce engines for their i8 plug-in hybrid sports car at Hams Hall is more good news for the UK automotive sector and underlines its growing competitive strength. It is yet another indication that international companies see the UK as one of the best places to develop and manufacture low emission vehicle technologies.”
The BMW i8 Concept features a three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine producing 349hp/300Nm. It does 0-60 in under five seconds, and claims fuel economy of around 78 mpg and an electric range of approximately 20 miles.
Also this week, the BMW Group previewed the world’s first BMW i Store in London. The electric BMW i3 Concept car was shown for the first time at the new showroom on Park Lane. The i3, BMW’s first EV, will be available in late 2013, and the i8 will follow in 2014. The i3 is powered by an electric motor mounted over the rear axle, which generates 170hp and 250Nm of torque. It will also be offered with a range extender engine.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said, “I want London to be a showcase for new technologies, not only to create jobs but to deliver improvements to quality of life. It is great news that BMW has decided to base its first ever i Store right here, confirming the capital’s status as a champion of electric vehicle use.”