BMW i8 Will Mark the Launch of a New 6-Speed Gearbox for 1.5-liter Engines

The internet is filled with news and spyshots about the new BMW 1 Series GT model, the first one in the company’s history that will be front wheel drive only. Sure, we have the i8 that will be launched in less than 3 days, but that car is AWD, FWD and RWD at the same time (quite impressive actually).
BMW i8 Teaser 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from Youtube
The thing is, since this new car will be front wheel drive and will be using the manufacturer’s new B38 engine family with the highly anticipated 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder units, a problem related to the gearbox started to make itself more and more noticed.

Since BMW always used gearboxes that sent power to the rear axle or both, what of the new models? Well, our source at BMW tells us that for the new engines the Munich-based manufacturer will develop new automatic gearboxes specifically for FWD vehicles and transversal engine concepts, one of which  making its debut on the i8.

 “We will develop a new automatic gear box for future front wheel drive vehicles and transversal engine concepts. First outcome will be with the all new BMW i8 plug-in hybrid. The number of gears is due to the best possible torque level. With future plug-in hybrid models not as many gears might be needed to feature the best possible shifting point,” our source said.

Therefore, the i8 will not only mark the first hybrid plug-in sports car from BMW but it will also feature the company’s newest automatic gearbox, a 6-speed unit, specifically developed for B38 engines.
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