• Sep 2, 2008
The new BMW 7-Series has just stepped out from behind the curtain, and it's taken the stage to a house only half full. Demand for BMW's big engines has dropped so low that the house of the roundel says it can make enough 8-bangers to satisfy the world's demand using just one shift for four days.
A member of BMW's supervisory board put it plainly: "We are producing the wrong engines here." Even the sixes, the center of BMW's engine constellation, are being taken out of production in Munich to be replaced by those with two fewer cylinders in 2011. When the phase-out is complete, the company will be able to build 560,000 4-cylinders per annum. Care for a BMW 716i, anyone?

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]


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  • 37 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This actually isn't a bad idea at all...as any Bimmer fan can tell you, the "golden age" of BMWs was in the 80s and 90s...and up until around 1993, they didn't even offer a V8. They had the range-topping M70 V12 but that was in very small numbers and only existed with the 7 and 8 Series of course. So a V8 isn't essential to BMW...

      I don't mind 4 bangers either, as long as the cars are light enough. If anything this move brings them closer to the spirit of cars like the E30...which they're definitely straying from, I mean come on the 1 Series here doesn't even offer a 4cyl. right now. So this is actually a good move.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't see a 716i, because I see a Hydrogen 7 in its place as the clean 7, for the 716 will be cheap, and that's wrong for a 7
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hello K-car...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hopefully the US will see 4 cylinder diesels and not gas engines. I love my 335i but I would run to the dealer for a new one if I could get a 320d.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does this mean the US will see four cylinder models again?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, I wasn't planning on trading in my 2008 760 Li until 2013, but if what is posted above is true, I will definitely purchase a new 7 series right before they phase the 8 cylinder engines out. No way would I purchase a 7 series with a 4 cylinder, or even a 6 for that matter!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good for BMW. The inline-6 could easily perform as the marque's premium performance engine, with all of the bread-and-butter models sporting 4-bangers (NA and forced-induction). With today's technology, V8s and large-displacement engines aren't needed anyway.
      Hopefully this will also pave the way for LIGHTER vehicles. I'm all for improving safety, but there has to be a better way to do it without adding so much weight. Performance is all about how many pounds each hp is carrying around. Perhaps now manufacturers will start working on both sides of the fraction.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Bluestreak, displacement or number of cylinders alone has little to do with an engine's mass and c.g., which is what should really be watched for good handling.

        It's about reducing engine mass, not displacement or cylinders alone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      no manufacturer is immune from high fuel prices and declining demand.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd say you were jumping the gun RG.

        It is quite obvious why BMW is doing what they are doing.

        Their sales record shows that they aren't having trouble selling cars.

        BMW is a company that is quick to react and this is just another instance of that.

        The market works by one company watching another company before it makes major moves, especially when it comes to German automakers.

        I really wouldn't be surprised to see MB, Audi, etc. to start making moves in the same direction before long....it only makes sense.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ 3seriesisking:

        "BMW is quick to react." I disagree. If they are so quick to react, then they wouldn't be producing such monstrosities as the X6, or the "M" versions of it and the X5.

      Michael D.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope BMW isn't caving and throwing in the towel!
      Buzzy, lumpy 4-bangers, in any shape or form spell econobox to me, and BMWs are not about humility! If it' sin addition to bread & butter cars or volume cars, fine, but don't abandon the higher end.
      Also, four-bangers have to work harder to maintain loads and in the big picture, there really isn't any significant difference in MPGs, where greater cylinder counts handle demands easier and more confidently,
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Michael D.
        Not true, Michael D. Comparing a 4 cyl with the same HP and displacement as a six or eight cyl will always have better mpg. This is a thermodynamic principal.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Michael D.
        Some of the great, iconic BMWs are 4-cylinders. E30 M3, most of the European racing cars.
        BMW wouldn't be BMW without the 4-cylinders - pretty much every 1- 3- and X3 they sell in Europe has a four under the hood.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Did you know that No American or Asian company ever failed to meet CAFE? But BMW and other European companies do not meet it and pay a fine.

      Can you image what would happen if GM did not meet environmental standards in Germany? The protests, the riots, the blaming of America, the comparison of Bush to Hitler, and all that.

      It's time EPA force BMW and Benz to meet CAFE or pay much higher fines. I think Americans should force EPA and the government to force BMW and Benz to meet CAFE by limiting the number of cars the can sell, that will allow American and Asian companies to capture some of their market. Think about it, Cadillac HAS to offer smaller engines to meet CAFÉ while M5 offers engine of any size the want, and pollute our air. This could be an environmental statement as well as a helping hand for Detroit.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Seriously? Think about what you are saying... Japanese cars that are presumably built better, last longer, and are more appealing to consumers should be blocked by a protective tax to protect the big three who just aren't producing the same quality cars that they used to. I am not a hater of American cars, i just haven't really enjoyed the bland and dated design language they are using now - not to mention the retro crap they are pulling because they cannot come up with something completely original. While Japanese cars may be bland in their own right, they are at least moving forward each generation with a new design language.

        Too many companies here trying to rest on their laurels rather than redefine themselves (especially Daimler over in Germany).


        More on topic: It is strange to think of a BMW without their iconic I6, i am guessing they are looking into a TTI4 technology? I just cannot imagine them keeping the same performance with the power of a I4... maybe i am wrong though - probably am. Why aren't they looking into a hybrid powertrain or even electric?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Germans are not the problem for Detroit. Japanese are the ones you should be worried about, I say tax the hell out of them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's not true. As of 1999, GM was the only company that sold cars in the US that had met CAFE fleet in every year since CAFE had begun. Even GM broke their streak soon after that.

        Other companies failed to meet it several times, many of them never met it in any year and just paid fines every year.

        Josh:
        The Japanese do retro too.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Figaro
        • 6 Years Ago
        what are you talking about? nobody is forced to meet CAFE. anyone can skip them. All they have to do is pay fines. the government isn't forcing gm to meet cafe, and it isn't forcing anyone else to do it either. MB and BMW just happen to pay the fines for not meeting it...
      • 6 Years Ago
      this brings the bmr people in to the reality of the word
      new world order
      a twin turbo 4 banger
      the game is on...
      • 6 Years Ago
      What?
      I'm surprised to see that people forking out 7 Series cash are worried about the dip in mileage.


      ~Zar4
        • 6 Years Ago
        More than 90% of the 7-series sold in Europe have the 3.0 diesel engine.
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