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...


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      Saracen
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why FFS do I have to be a "BMW fanboy" or "drink the BMW Kool-Aid" to lament them potentially switching to a V6? The only advantage gained from using a V6 is packaging, which is not as important in RWD applications...and even then narrow angle V6 is better than a V6, while retaining many of the Inline-6's desirable characteristics...one of which you didn't mention...a much simpler valvetrain (which comes with having a single bank of cylinders) I tell ya, automotive 'journalists' these days...
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Saracen
        [blocked]
          • 4 Years Ago
          [blocked]
      BipDBo
      • 4 Years Ago
      The fact that this drawing shows 2 rows of cylinder says nothing about what the configuration of the engine that this turbo system may be used on. This is a patent for a 2 stage turbo system, not for an engine design. This could be used on a V6, V8, straight-6, straight-4, whatever. All of the exhausts are manifolded together. Because they are all manifolded together, it would actually be much easier to apply this to a straight layout than a "V".
        Steve
        • 4 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        I think the drawings are specific to "V" engines with the turbo(s) "manifolded together" between the V. There is nothing new about single or twin turbo inline engines with one exhaust manifold. BMW currently use the turbo-inside-the-V design on the new M5 V8 and I suspect they are trying to downsize the concept in a V6.
          BipDBo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Steve
          I'm am not familiar with the turbo inside the V design. Typically, the inside ofthe V is full of intake manifold. Do they have the intake come from below, outside the V on either side and the exhaust come out of the top toward the center?
        baconpocket
        • 4 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        or a boxer
          torqued
          • 4 Years Ago
          @baconpocket
          If it was a boxer 6, that would be even more interesting. No it's not the inline 6 that BMW is famous for, but it'd still be inherently balanced (I think? Maybe depends on the firing order) and Porsche has done quite well with theirs over the years.
        baconpocket
        • 4 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        they probably wouldn't put dual throttle bodies/intercoolers on a I6 or I8. figures 3-6 show each bank going to a twinscroll turbo first, so only the first design has them all manifolded together
      BG
      • 4 Years Ago
      V6 - great for packaging. That suggests they plan to stuff it in some pug-nosed FWD CUV-crossover-SUV-type thing to compete with the hundreds of other models out there. Pity. I wish they would stick with elegant long-hood designs. Ever see straight-8 cars from the 1930s? I think they all look great.
      LJSearles
      • 4 Years Ago
      "BMW stands alone as the only major automaker to have stuck with the tried-and-true inline-six engine through thick and thin," Oi, Ford Australia here. You might wanna check out what has been powering Falcons for almost 50 years.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @LJSearles
        [blocked]
        brandon
        • 4 Years Ago
        @LJSearles
        Glad someone else pointed that out.
      Justin Campanale
      • 4 Years Ago
      BMW is one of the few manufacturers around geared towards enthusiasts. Every single car that theymake is at the top or is near the top in handling, dynamics, and fun factor. But lately, BMW seems like its moving away from the same people who kept it alive. Many of the BMW customers are BMW customers only because of the badge. I myself am friends with an M3 driver who was completely ignorant of his car. I asked what he thought about his car, "well, its small and it looks nice, and it's a BMW, so that's why I bought it." I also asked him how much hp he thought the car had. He said"200?250? My Accord has 180 hp so I'd expect this to be a little bit more since it's a luxury model". I took him to a racetrack, and he became a car enthusiast on the spot when he learnt of all the capabilities of his M3. BMW, stop catering to these type of people. Remember, your goal is not to make as many sales as possible. Your aim is to make ENTHUSIASTS happy. And you can't do that with a BMW V6.
        John
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Their goal isn't to make money? Either you're 16 years old or completely numb to the fact that companies are out there to make money. BMW is no different. Auto enthusiests probably make up less than 3% of their total sales, the other 97% want Toyota Camry interior space with a BMW badge.
      jonnybimmer
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know it's not really supposed to matter much if the end results are better, but for some reason, it does. Like Subaru abandoning the flat-4 for a more efficient inline-4 or the Mustang/Vette abandoning the V8 for a turbo V6. All for the name of performance and efficiency, and I'm not one to doubt engineers of today (hey, I'm no automotive engineer) but there'll definitely be a loss of identity if they do this, just like when they produce their FWD car.
      Flapdb5
      • 4 Years Ago
      I own two very smooth and reliable I6 BMW's. The only reason I'm posting, however, is that I want to use the word 'fag'. Stay classy, Captain.
      SkierMax
      • 4 Years Ago
      Um maybe you guys forgot but Volvo uses Inline 5's and Inline 6's. No V6's over here either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @SkierMax
        [blocked]
      desinerd1
      • 4 Years Ago
      Inline 6 vs V6 make a difference? I can't tell them apart.
        Justin Campanale
        • 4 Years Ago
        @desinerd1
        If you were really a car enthusiast you'd know that i6s are much more fun to drive, smooth, and have a better sound than v6s.
      Nathan Loiselle
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's not a particularly new design for BMW. I'm wondering if they're including EGR technology. Because the turbocharger part simply appear their twin dual-scoll overhead chargers with water-to-air intercoolers and under mounted intake manifolds. The upper box that's shaded would be another cooler if it's EGR tech their patenting. Otherwise I don't see anything new at all.
        Rotation
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Nathan Loiselle
        Every gas engine has had EGR for almost 40 years now.
          bhtooefr
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Not every engine. As late as 1997, Miatas didn't have EGR. For that matter, I know as late as 1993, and I think as late as 1997, they didn't even have a knock sensor.
      Vincent Wynn
      • 4 Years Ago
      im sorry but... 2JZ-GTE >
        Vincent Wynn
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Vincent Wynn
        woops. add when talkin about inline 6's. cant forget about the RB engines.
      Toneron
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is a bummer. A bimmer bummer. LOL. One inaccuracy - "superior to any other" - nope inferior to 1 - boxer 6. Cancels 3rd order harmonics too and lower CG.
        Rotation
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Toneron
        Whoa buddy, rotary. That tops boxer 6s too. But this is a fools errand. There's not one best engine design for everything, not even smoothness.
          KaiserWilhelm
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          except for the no torque, terrible fuel economy, and oil burning...
          Rotation
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          You don't need torque when you rev to 10,000rpm. Are you familiar with how power works and gearing? As to fuel economy, if that's your goal, I6s get worse fuel economy than V6s. Like I said, there's no one best engine for all purposes.
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