Sacrilege. Blasphemy. Treason. Heresy. Just what sin is BMW accused of? Patenting a design for a turbocharged V6 engine. If you're not a BMW fanboy, you may be wondering, what's the big deal?
BMW stands alone as the only major automaker to have stuck with the tried-and-true inline-six engine through thick and thin, and adherents that drink the BMW Kool-Aid have long held that this engine configuration is superior to any other. And they do have a point... BMW's inline sixes are known for their smooth operation (due to their inherently balanced design) and ability to rev to the stratosphere while producing some of the sweetest sounds known to motordom.
Of course, anyone paying attention knows that BMW produces a whole slew of engines, and not nearly all of them put six cylinders neatly in a row – there are V8 engines, V10 engines and inline-fours, too. But the inline six is BMW's bread-and-butter reputation earner. For now.
The boys from BimmerPost have uncovered a German patent application that clearly shows a sequential turbocharged engine design with both six and eight cylinders. It's entirely possible that BMW is merely protecting intellectual property that it has developed for turbocharger routing and design, but the fact that it's shown on both V6 and V8 engines means the automaker is at least thinking about the V6.
Note that this revelation shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone – rumors of a BMW V6 (along with reports of triple turbochargers on various engine layouts) have been around for quite some time. Plus, we're going to trust that the engineers at BMW know a thing or two about engine design, and they'll surely settle on a choice that fulfills the performance parameters they are looking to achieve. Anything is possible...