BMW to build green supercar engine in UK
Jun 19 2012
BMW has revealed the high-tech three-cylinder turbo engine for its new i8 plug-in hybrid supercar will be built at its Hams Hall plant near Birmingham.
The new engine will come on stream next year, prior to the car’s launch in late 2013, and is another fillip for the plant that’s just celebrated production of its three millionth engine.
BMW’s new UK-built supercar engine is a very high-performance motor. It will produce 349hp and reach 62mph from rest in less than 5 seconds. Despite this, the i8 will also average nearly 80mpg – and, thanks to electric drive, cover 20 miles in zero emissions EV mode.
BMW’s decision to build the engine in the UK is part of its £500 million investment in its UK production facilities announced last year . This is already gearing up to produce the new MINI, while the Hams Hall plant is to produce BMW’s vital new engine range to appear in many of its best sellers.
Already, UK-built engines are fitted to the BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, X1 and all MINI models: the expansion of the plant will reinforce its importance in BMW’s global production plans even further.
BMW board member Dr. Ian Robertson told MSN Cars that the decision to produce the new i8 engine in the UK was not an inevitability: the plant faced competition from facilities in both Austria and Germany.
The decision to produce the heart of its headturning new supercar engine here in Britain is thus a significant win for the plant – and a real vote of confidence for UK workers.
Last year, Hams Hall produced around 440,000 engines. It opened in February 2001 and is set to break more production records this year.
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