Engines from BMW Group’s plant near Birmingham will power the company’s latest electrified BMW i8 Roadster on sale in Britain.
The Hams Hall, Midlands plant has been producing engines for the BMW i8 Coupe, the world’s best-selling hybrid sports car, since it hit the roads in 2014 and now the plant will power the new BMW i8 Roadster, as well as a new version of the i8 Coupe.
Exclusively produced at Hams Hall, the three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, a winner of the International Engine of the Year Award, is combined with a hybrid electric motor to form the i8’s multi award-winning advanced plug-in hybrid drive system.
The turbocharged three-cylinder unit, featuring direct injection and variable valve timing extracts a maximum output of 170 kW/231 hp from 1.5 litres, plus peak torque of 320 Nm (236 lb-ft).
With the electric motor and engine acting in unison, the system output is 275 kW/374 hp.
The new BMW i8 Coupe accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds, while the new BMW i8 Roadster takes 4.6 seconds.
Hand-built by a small team of the plant’s top technicians, the combustion engines for the i8 are assembled on a dedicated, unique facility, recently expanded and enhanced to increase production capability for further high-spec engines.
Overall, the Hams Hall plant is going from strength-to-strength. Production of engines for a number of BMW and MINI models is expected to peak over 350,000 units, with the machining of key engine components likely to top 1.4 million parts this year.
There are 1,200 people n the plant at the moment and 20 build the new i8 units.