As some MotoringFile readers have noticed BMW’s new line of engines meant for the next generation MINI aren’t larger than their predecessor and don’t put out much more power at the top of the line. A few have questioned this move considering so many other cars seem to be going the other direction. However has it turns out it isn’t just by chance that the next generation MCS will have the same displacement and roughly the same output. BMW has wide ranging plans to go against the historical norm and keep engine sizes down while increasing performance and economy through other means. Automotive News gives us a look at the new company-wide initiative in this week’s edition.


>”The time to increase horsepower by increasing displacement is over,” said Klaus Borgmann, senior vice president of powertrain development for BMW, during an interview at the SAE World Congress here last week. “I am very convinced that the time to increase displacement will never come back because increasing displacement automatically increases fuel consumption.”

>…Borgmann outlined several ways BMW will boost fuel economy starting this fall.

> BMW is spreading its Valvetronic system, which varies the duration and lift of the intake valves to maximize fuel economy, emissions and performance, to the 2007 Mini Cooper. The sporty S version of the British-made hatchback will use a turbocharger, instead of the supercharger in the current model, and have direct fuel injection, Borgmann said, for about a 10 percent fuel economy gain over the 2006 car. Instead of bigger engines, he said, turbochargers will be used on other BMWs to improve performance.

> In 2007, European BMWs will be equipped with a stop-start feature that turns off the gasoline or diesel engine when the car comes to a stop. The engine restarts immediately when the driver lifts his or her foot off the brake pedal. Borgmann said the feature is being evaluated for North America. Stop-start may not be suitable for hot climates, he said, because the air conditioning compressor stops working when the engine is off. The stop-start system will use a specially modified starter, instead of a belt alternator system, and a heavier-duty battery. The Mini Cooper also will have the stop-start system.

You can read the entire article via Automotive New’s sister publication Autoweek:

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