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BMW i8 engines to be built in UK

BMW has announced that the new generation of 3-cylinder petrol engines for the future BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car will be produced exclusively at the BMW engine plant at Hams Hall, near Birmingham.

The BMW i8 Concept is a sports car boasting an innovative eDrive plug-in hybrid concept combining an electric drive system with a high performance three cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine producing 349hp/300Nm. Acceleration of 0-62mph in under five seconds combined with the fuel consumption of under 78mpg gives sports car performance with the fuel consumption small city car.

BMW are confident that, thanks to its plug-in hybrid drive, the i8 can manage most daily journeys in zero-emission all-electric mode with an electric range of approximately 20 miles.

Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management, said: "Our Hams Hall engine plant, which last week celebrated production of the three-millionth engine since the plant was opened in February 2001, will make an important contribution to the future success of the new BMW i brand and the company's strategy for achieving sustainable mobility. The new 3-cylinder petrol engines will enable our future BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car to set new standards for dynamic performance in combination with industry-leading fuel-efficiency and low carbon emission levels."

Despite the current economic difficulties in many countries in Europe, including the UK, Robertson declared his confidence and optimism in the positive development of the automotive sector and its ability to play an increasingly important role as a key sector of the UK economy.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "BMW's decision to produce engines for their i8 plug-in hybrid sports car at Hams Hall is more good news for the UK automotive sector and underlines its growing competitive strength. It is yet another indication that international companies see the UK as one of the best places to develop and manufacture low emission vehicle technologies."

Over three million engines have been produced to date at the Hams Hall engine plant for a wide range of BMW and MINI vehicles. This milestone follows record production in 2011 and confirmation that facilities are to be upgraded to enable production of the new generation of engines. The UK-built engines are supplied in sequence to production plants in Germany, Austria and Oxford and currently power the BMW X1, BMW 1 Series, the new BMW 3 Series as well as all MINI petrol engines.

Posted on 13.06.2012
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