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BMW Unveils New Direct-Injection, Bi-Turbo Inline Six

The new bi-turbo gasoline direct injection inline-six.

BMW is resuming the use of turbocharger technology in the design of its large-scale serial production gasoline engines.

At the Geneva auto show, the company unveiled a new in-line 6-cylinder bi-turbo engine with direct injection and fully variable camshaft control to optimize combustion. The new bi-turbo direct-injection engine produces 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque with “low fuel consumption.”

In two months, BMW will announce a first vehicle to feature this new engine generation. It will be launched on the market in the foreseeable future, according to Prof. Dr. Dr. E.h. Burkhard Göschel, Member of the Board of Management of BMW, speaking at the press conference in Geneva.

BMW first introduced turbos in Europe in 1973 with the production of the BMW 2002 Turbo, but subsequently dropped the technology in its gasoline models over concerns over fuel consumption coupled with rising fuel prices.

The new bi-turbo engine uses two small turbo chargers built with new heat-resistant material to provide an excellent response behavior.

The typical “turbo lag”—the moment right before the charger kicks in to enhance performance—has now become a thing of the past. This engine is agile, and it performs like a big naturally aspirated engine, but at much better mileage.

—Dr. Göschel

The new engine also uses BMW’s High Precision Injection system. High-Precision Injection (HPI) is a lean spray-guided gasoline direct-injection technology that BMW projects will increase fuel efficiency by up to 10% in the Euro test cycle and between 5%–15% in real world driving. (Earlier post.)

A gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine sprays the fuel directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder (as opposed to a port fuel injection (PFI) or carburetor engine) and delivers significantly increased performance and decreased fuel consumption and emissions.

First-generation GDI systems are wall-guided—the spray hits the wall, and the formation of the fuel-air cloud depends mainly on the charge movements. A spray-guided technique uses the injection procedure itself and not the charge movement to ensure that a combustible mixture is brought to the sparkplug at exactly the right time, regardless of pressure and temperature conditions.

At the Geneva show, Mercedes-Benz introduced its first production model using its own spray-guided direct injection system (earlier post.)

BMW has stated that it will implement spray-guided direct injection on all its gasoline models in the future, as well as regenerative braking and stop/start functionality.

The engine also features BMW’s BIVANOS variable camshaft system.

On a separate note, Dr. Göschel stated that company will not yet enter the US market with a diesel model without an SCR solution or equivalent. (SCR is the basis for DaimlerChrysler’s BLUETEC systems (earlier post).

If the BMW Group is to enter the American market with a diesel product, it will be with one that offers a truly sustainable solution such as the exhaust treatment by SCR technology—which is the drastic reduction of NOx content by use of urea.

Those SCR catalytic converters dramatically lower NOx content and—in cooperation with the particle filter—reduce exhaust emissions to a minimum. However, we still have quite some way to go before this trend-setting technology will be fully developed.

—Dr. Göschel



This would be really sweet to add to a 3-series. Given the relatively low peak power, given all of the technology, I'm sure it will have one very flat powerband. It's not as if the current engines are underpowered, but if I had the option of adding 50HP over the current 330 AND getting better mileage, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I just hope they don't reserve this for the overly priced M-series.....Given that Lexus is offering 306 HP in their IS, I'm hoping there is a chance!

Yeah, I know this doesn't really qualify as "green", but it's still pretty cool to see all of this technology rolled up into one.


I like it.

Imagine combining this ICE optimization with their transmission-integrated ultra-capacitor hybrid torque augmentation design. It's like getting the low torque of a HUGE monster engine except they're getting BETTER mpg.

If this kind of thing doesn't keep gas cars from becoming obsolete, it might still make it worth owning one of these before they all are.


Although they mentioned regenerative braking and stop/start functionality, you'd also have to think that they may find a way to incorporate their recently announced "turbo steamer" concept, which captures a good portion of the otherwise wasted heat energy. I know it's a lot of technology to get to work together properly, but if ANYONE can do this, it's BMW.


A nice engine indeed! But with a couple of remarkable technological features.
1. It has a slightly heavier (less light) full aluminum engine block, as opposed to the normally aspirated magnesium blocks (with alu cilinders).
2. Although it features Double VANOS, it does not have the BMW Valvetronic (variable lift) valve actuation system.
3. It has two parallel turbo's (bi-turbo) instead of the 'in-line' register turbosystem we see on the strongest 6-cilindre diesels (BMW 535d).

- The full alu block could be used because of the higher preasures caused by the turbo system.

- The 1.6 litre 4-cilindre engine BMW has built in cooperation with PSA (Peugeot/citroen), which will be introduced shortly in the Peugeot 207 and the next generation Mini, also comes in a normaly aspirated, indirect injected valvetronic version and in a direct injected turbo version with double vanos (without valvetronic) cilindre heads. Does the Valvetronic technology not work well in cooperation with turbo systems?

- And why does the new petrol turbo engine not have the register turbo system / why doesn't the strongest turbo diesel not have a more common bi-turbo system?



The function of vavletronic is to reduce pumping losses, by eliminating the need for a throtle. Such can also be achieved with direct injection. For BMW turbo engines(which already have Direct injection), the advantage of valvetronic is almost nonexixtent. Thats why its deleted for turbo engines....saves some weight too.

one must understand that these overpowered engines are not aimed at greenies. If BMW really want to be green, the natural aspirated 330i inline six would not exist. All this tech applied to their 2.0l 4cyl engine would produce similar horsepower, and way less fuel consumption.


Word on gearhead forum sites is that this won't make it to the US. Instead, a normally-aspirated 3.5 will be offered.

Does anyone have info that confirms/denies this?


"The function of vavletronic is to reduce pumping losses, by eliminating the need for a throtle. Such can also be achieved with direct injection. For BMW turbo engines(which already have Direct injection), the advantage of valvetronic is almost nonexixtent."

...not quite sure that is true. The fact that Valvetronic eliminated the need for a throttle was an added benefit - not the goal. Direct injection has nothing to do with controlling the AIR that is let into the combustion chamber. Variable control of valve lift would always add efficiency to an ICE.


In reaction to Dimitris:
The new 3-litre Turbo engine will produce about 300 hp. The power equivalent to that of a 3,5 litre normally aspirated engine. The cars powered by this engine will most probably be called 335i or 535i or X3 3.5. Just as we (in Europe) have seen with the more powerfull register turbo powered 3-litre diesel in the 535d.

On the other hand, where European legislation focusses on reduction of 'greenhouse/Kyoto' CO2 emissions, the American (Californian) emessionregs are more strict on 'smoggasses' like NOx. The new turbo engine offers lean burn caracteristics and therefore a higher NOx emission. Whithout (costly) aftertreatment it could not be allowed on the Californian markets. A larger (stroked) version of the NA 3-litre could be an alternative for this turbo engine. A trick we have seen before in the USA where the American E-36 series M3 was powered by a special 3.2-litre version of the normal 2.8-litre production engine, where we Europeans got the real 3.2 litre M-Power 'race engine'.


In reply to Tman, how would a 2ltr make the same power without a lot more lag? Also how would it get way better mpg?


I think what tman meant is that the same techniques applied to the 2.0L would make as much power as the current 3.0L non-turbo and be more efficient. Could be, but the current 3.0L is pretty good considering its real-world usability.

The 3.0L turbo is coming to the USA--the lean burn characteristic will just be turned off for the US market--simple enough with a few lines of computer code.

This is aimed at greenies, in a sense. I want to get good fuel economy, but i want something powerful as well. I'd no prius, but it's not a lincoln navigator, either. My 328i gets 35mpg on the highway if i drive the speed limit.


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good it should come to market very soon

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