BMW and PSA Detail Engine Plans

From BMW/MINI Press:

PSA Peugeot Citroen and BMW Group presented today the industrial plan for their cooperation in the production of a new family of small 4-cylinder petrol engines that will be used in both partners’ vehicles (Peugeot, Citroen and MINI).

The main engine will be machined exclusively at PSA Peugeot Citroen’s Douvrin plant in Northern France, with engine assembly divided between each partner’s facilities – Douvrin for PSA Peugeot Citroen and Hams Hall in the UK for MINI – to facilitate the logistics of supplying each manufacturer’s car plants.

As part of the project, a complete production module will be brought on line in late 2005 at the Francaise de Mecanique plant in Douvrin. The principle of the module is based on the development of a highly integrated, independent production unit that can easily be reproduced on other sites and brings together the machining lines for the main engine components – cylinder head, crankcase, crankshaft and connecting rod – and the assembly lines. This organisation is based on the production of 2,500 units a day.

Covering a surface area of approximately 60,000 square metres, this first module required an investment of 330 million Euros. It will be able to produce an engine every 26 seconds, regardless of the version. At full capacity, it will be run by 1,120 employees, working in four shifts, who will have received 152,000 hours of training.

The Hams Hall plant will assemble engines for future variants of MINI. PSA Peugeot Citroen’s Charleville and Mulhouse Metallurgy Division plants will also be integrated into the industrial plan as suppliers of raw castings. A number of innovations have been introduced in these plants, including:

  • The lost foam process for cylinder heads.

  • Pressurised aluminium casings with cast-iron jackets inserted into the casting.

  • Steel crankshafts with un-machined counterweights.

  • Connecting rods forged using the double impression method.

BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroen are implementing a co-ordinated process to support full, real-time transparency between the two engine plants in order to deal effectively with any quality issues.

PSA Peugeot Citroen and BMW Group announced their intention to jointly develop and produce a new range of engines in 2002. Once at its maximum production capacity, the partners’ overall annual production will reach 1 million units.

For further information on the new BMW designed MINI engines (including specifications), check out these previous MotoringFile stories:

[ Next MINI Engine Range in Detail ] [ Next Generation MINI Revealed ]
  • Ian

    I suppose all those technical phrases mean the engines are supposed to be good 😉

  • Frank

    We shall see how their reliability will stack up against the bulletproof TRITEC engines. 😉

  • revwillie

    I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure lost-foam aluminum casting was Saturn’s big deal in 1990 for their first gen engines. Also iron jackets (Al doesn’t have enough wear resistance). I’m not poo-pooing PSA…From what I’ve read the fuel injection systems are state of the art. But lightweight Aluminum 4-bangers can be cranked out fast and cheap this way.

  • You’re right about the lost foam technology. It’s nothing new, but it works great. A friend of mine owns a foundry. It really is interesting to see it in production.

  • Rodney

    Any links to give more detail on the “lost foam” process?

  • revwillie


    It’s not just the casting process. Investment casting can be done with small pieces by hand…a lot of jewelery is made that way via ‘lost-wax’ casting.

    It’s another thing to make thousands of blocks and heads reliably that way. It looks like PSA actually had a patent or two in the late 80’s, but I don’t know if they used it in production or not.

    Saturn touted it in their marketing materials when the first generation of S series cars came out. They don’t make their own engines anymore though.

  • revwillie

    sorry fixed link