• Feb 28, 2008


Word out of Frankfurt from the Financial Times Deutschland is that BMW is in talks to sell engines and transmissions to both General Motors and Fiat. All three companies have declined to officially comment.

The news is interesting, but not surprising. You may recall that GM has been selling transmissions to BMW for well over a decade for use in various 3 Series and 5 Series models (the current BMW 328i automatic uses a 6-speed GM 6L45 unit). So far, however, all have been automatic transmissions.

Speculating about the details, our tipster suggests that BMW may be helping GM with their SMG-style transmission program. As for the engines? It is possible that BMW could be selling its 4.4L V8 for the Cadillac line or lending GM a twin-turbo to compete with Ford's twin-turbo direct-injected V6? Thanks for the tip Brad!

[Source: Automotive News Europe, subs. req'd]



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  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dunno... I wouldn't mind a BMW inline six showing up under the hood of the '09 Camaro in base trim.

      It's been far too long since we could get a rear wheel drive car with an inline six (other than a BMW).

      I'd rather see GM engineer it's own I6. They have the Vortec 4200 but I imagine it's too large for a car. On that tangent... why can't I get a silverado with the 4.2L I6 and a manual transmission?
        • 6 Years Ago
        GM should update the 4.2 I6.
        Use the larger diameter pistons from the I4,5.
        Add variable intake valve timing.
        300+hp, 300+ft-lbs

        Perfect engine for the Silverado 4x4 (use the H3 Alpha transfer case), 6L50 or a 6 speed stick, your choice.

        If GM added variable intake valve timing to the 3.7, they could get 250hp, 250ft-lbs. With the right axle ratio, that would be perfect for a rear drive Silverado.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM sourced trannies...that explains why BMW's automatic transmissions are such garbage. Thank god they still allow you to order BMWs with manuals (which I do).
        • 6 Years Ago
        BMW 328i GM 6L45
        BMW 335i ZF 6hp21
        same with the 1-series

        X3 GM
        X5 3.0 ZF


      • 6 Years Ago
      When Ford bought Land Rover in 2000, it had to continue sourcing the BMW 4.4L V8 in the new Range Rover (circa 2002).

      The cost was reported to be more than the cost of a Ford Mustang, which meant that Land Rover must have been paying in excess of $20,000 for the luxury of the BMW V8.

      I don't have a problem with a BMW in a Cadillac, but I agree with the comments that it seems to dilute the Cadillac brand.

      Whatever happened to being the 'Standard of the World' again?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Buy Diesels would make some sense. Buying gas engines makes less sense, except for a few specific models.

      Buying transmissions? BMW doesn't make their own transmissions (actually, GM makes a lot for them) and the SMG unit is not a very good gearbox (although it's better than the Magnetti Marelli unit).

      GM would do well to make their own dual-clutch transmisson post-haste.
      • 6 Years Ago
      But, GM engines are better than BMW engines, it doesn't make sense that GM would want them. GM has a good history of turbo V6 engines, and if they wanted a twin turbo direct injected motor for Cadillac then they've already got a great base motor in the CTS.

      SMG transmissions I could understand, although I absolutely HATE them. In my opinion they have too many negatives and not enough positive, plus they're too weak for GM's typical 'Torque-rich' performance approach.
        • 6 Years Ago
        the 3.6L in the CTS is by no means a better engine than the 3.0L in the BMW

        but I agree, I don't mind transmission being swaped, but engines, now that's too far - a caddy with a BMW heart

        what does that say for Caddilac, if you can't beat them...
        • 6 Years Ago
        seriously , I don't see GM winning an best international engine of the year awards BMW is on of the best engine makers in the world and I'm sure it makes better engines than GM
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wouldn't mind a bimmer manual tranny (or any manual tranny for that matter :) ) in a GM car, but I'd rather have an ls3 over the 4.4L dohc turbo. I'm sure BMW does make great engines, but so does GM (most definitely in the case of the ls v8's)

      How much exactly does the 4.4L turbo motor weigh anywho?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The 4.4L NA weighs more than the LS3. And it's bigger. The turbo is even bigger and heavier.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Most likely the BMW diesel line and for the european market. Considering Ford was paying what amounted to a Mustang per BMW V8 when installed in the Range Rover line-up, I can't see BMW equipped GM gasoline engines in the US lineup.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree that it's likely diesel engines for the Euro market. BMW doesn't make better petrol engines than GM already does, and it certainly wouldn't be cheaper to throw a BMW 4.4 into a CTS rather than an GM LS3.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't like it. BMW makes some of the best engines in the world. Giving engines to Cadillac???? I don't think so.
      BMW's engines are almost synonymous with the brand itself. Don't sell BMW, please!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        BMW may increase profits now by selling engines to others, but when consumers start discovering that Cadillacs can drive just as well as a Bimmer and ALSO have less contraversial styling, BMW is going to start losing market share. Talk about shooting herself in the foot.

        There's a difference between long-run and short-run profit increases, and BMW bigwigs need to recognise this. Exclusivity means money in the luxury market.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Alexp,

        That was probably put the best and simplest that I ever could see it put. Not to mention being funny.
        • 6 Years Ago
        *gentlemen, rather than sir.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Less controversial styling? lol...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I know there are economic/financial benefits from such trades. That's a no-brainer. However, when you make a product well and have taken pride in that product for many years, I think it is wise to keep a that trademark product to yourself and not give it to your competitors.
          • 6 Years Ago
          This isn't Ferrari we're talking about, you know.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And I thought Ford fans were funny.

        Hi I'm a company!

        Hi, We're investors!

        I need money to pursue my quest for glory!

        You will have to prove yourself, young BMW!

        I sure shall, sir!

        I have proved myself, investors!

        Congrats BMW, I shall buy shares of you!

        Yay!

        BMW, we believe that you should find new markets!

        Such as, my good investors?

        Selling parts to other companies!

        That's a great idea, investors! I shall find potential clients!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Not a new collaboration and not a bad idea.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does BMW actually still use fans run by fan belts? Garbage.. I was helping my friend work on his 95 M3 and noticed it didn't use electric fans. Come on BMW, welcome to 1990.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM makes the best engines, and has the biggest variety.

      However, I do like the 2L I4 diesel that BMW has. 200hp 300lp torq; that's better than what my v8 has!
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM wants to be the leader in fuel efficiency in all size of vehicles. They now have that with their bigger vehicles. Now is the time to make a move on the smaller vehicles like the Cobalt. I believe that is what GM wants....engines for their smaller cars.
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