• May 6, 2010
It's no secret that BMW, like many other automakers, is working on smaller three cylinder engines for its future products to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Some of those engines will go into the next generation of Mini products and the goal is to provide a significant improvement in fuel economy without sacrificing performance.

The new Mini engines will incorporate much of the same technology that exists today in the high performance John Cooper Works edition. The 208 horsepower JCW uses direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger to extra extra power from the 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The three-cylinder will likely have a 1.2-liters of displacement with 120 and 180 hp for the Cooper and Cooper S. The next-gen Cooper which will probably arrive in 2012 and will likely be rated around 50 mpg on the highway, similar to the current Mini Cooper D available in Europe.

[Source: Motoring File]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      With a good exhaust, it should at least sound kinda like a six cylinder .Heard a triumph rocket 3 with loud exhaust, sound almost like a boxer 6 Corvair engine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you read the original, it talks about about 1.3 L an 1.5 L Triples. I bet the 180 HP version will be 1.5L triple, which makes more sense IMO.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone else think a turbo 1.2L 3 cylinder with 180hp is going to have to have an insane amount of boost? Can any engineers give us some numbers? It seems like an awful lot of power out of such a small mill.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think Pio is right. Nobody is doing it, but they have said that they easily could. Ford and GM's DI turbo 4s are good examples, they are just detuned for more fuel economy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Who is making a production car 300HP 2.0L?

        It is one thing doing it after-market, it is another doing it with full factory warranty and federalized emissions.
        • 4 Years Ago
        snowdog:
        It's a factory "stage 1" kit you put on your existing 261HP LNF. It's $600 or something. It maintains your factory warranty. It requires 91 octane. Stock 261HP tune only requires 87 octane except on the earliest 2007? models.

        http://gmtunersource.com/index.php/blog/garage/item/719-lnf-stage-1-warranty-information

        Despite the existence of the 291HP LNF, I think you are likely correct that the HO version of this 3-banger will be a 1.3L or 1.5L.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah I guess that sounds right. I think it all comes down to what you are tuning for. The Ford Ecoboost 1.2L 3 will probably try to duplicate the 120hp output of the NA 1.6L for maximum efficiency. BMW and Mini are going for more sportiness but will still probably get in the high 30s hwy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        snowdog:
        GM does 291HP with a factory tune on a production car and passing emissions. On 91 octane from 2.0L. 300HP is likely possible too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Evo comes awfully close to that.

        • 4 Years Ago
        @LS2

        What application does GM deliver that kind of HP. I assume this is some variant of the Solstice GXP (260 HP) Turbo.

        As usual AB doesn't necessarily capture the essence of the article.

        After reading the original, it appears to me there will be 1.3L and 1.5L triples. I expect the 180HP version will be 1.5L.

        While the AB tagged 1.2L 180HP is possible it would be higher specific output/liter than just about anything short of a super-car (or Rotary). If you are going to push those limits you are going to pay in durability or price (or both). Much simpler to just increase the displacement a bit. It isn't like 1.5L is a monster engine. ;)

        Anyway this isn't a big surprise, I remember reading of Ford research indicated 3 Cyl engines of up to 1.5L were an excellent efficient choice. I expect we will see a lot of triples in coming years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        well a 2L turbo 4 with modern tech (twin scroll turbo, variable cam timing/lift, direct injection) can easily do 300hp with no sweat and minimal lag

        so lop off 1 cyl and 1/3 of the displacement to arrive at a 1.3L turbo 3..if you assume modern tech..I think 180 hp will be no sweat
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder what the vibration characteristics of a 3 cylinder are like. A bigger failwhale than an i4/i5?

      A high power, turbo 3 would be interesting. But... how are they gonna put out high peak power and give the car enough low-end torque to not feel like a bog-mobile until you hit 3000rpm?

      BMW is known for doing magic, but i don't know how they're gonna pull this off.

      No complaints about the 50mpg tho :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think a 3-cylinder with a balance shaft has decent vibration characteristics, but it DEFINITELY needs the balance shaft.
      • 4 Years Ago
      LOL at the picture!
      • 4 Years Ago
      And yet, they just won't bring diesels over. I wonder if the auto manufacturers know something everyone here doesn't.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I don't get it. I know a lot of automakers buy into that whole "Americans don't like diesels because GM ruined them in the late 70s" mantra, which is dumb. If anything, we have a dim view of diesels because most of our exposure to them over the last 30 years has been in buses, dump trucks, 3/4 and 1-ton pickups and the like.

        That and the cost of federalizing the engines to pass US emissions regulations - or in reality CARB's regulations. Which would be a must-do for a brand like Mini, which draws a quarter of its sales from California.

        But VW has proven pretty conclusively that diesels will sell, and sell well, if they are offered and affordable. The Jetta TDI accounts for what, something like 25-30% of total Jetta sales? Seems like a no brainer for a brand like Mini.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Haha, you guys missed my sarcasm. I hate diesels. Would never buy one, unless it ran on veggie oil and I was SERIOUSLY concerned about peak oil. Lmao...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, VW is a good case study but I think the diesel mindset needs to spread more. The Ford Fusion is a good case study for people changing their opinion about the quality of American cars, and while it currently sells well, it still doesn't come close to the Camry in sales. It takes a long stretch of good examples to change public opinion on something that was formerly looked down upon. I just wish some other companies would follow VW into the diesel fray to help it along. Heaven knows a lot have the ability.
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