BMW’s 3-cylinder 1.5-liter Engines for the i8 Will Be Built in the UK

The British auto industry is making strong, determined steps forward these days, even when compared to its traditional rivals from Germany. In this regard, we were rather surprised to find out that BMW’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engines will be made in the UK, at the Hams Hall plant, near Birmingham.
BMW i8 and its ICE engine 7 photos
Photo: bmw
BMW i8 Engine manufacturingBMW i8 Engine manufacturingBMW i8 Engine manufacturingBMW i8 Engine manufacturingBMW i8 Engine manufacturingBMW i8 Engine manufacturing
We were surprised not because the Brits can’t make a proper engine (McLaren, anyone?) but rather because BMW was always reluctant towards externalizing engine manufacturing.

Sure, the Group has 29 plants all over the world (with subsidiaries) but up until now, all engines used to be manufactured back at home, at their German plants. It was also a controversial point when BMW announced the expansion of the Spartanburg plant, as it was only for assembling SUVs, the engines still having to be shipped out from Germany across the Atlantic.

Now, the new B38 engine will be, apparently, built in the UK, at first for the i8 alone. At the start of production, yesterday, a number of high-ranking officials were present on the scene, including Transport Minister Baroness Kramer that had this to say:

"The British-made engine for this ground-breaking car demonstrates that the UK automotive industry is at the forefront of the production of high-quality, low emission car technology. As our recent commitment to invest £500m in ultra-low emission vehicle design, production and adoption shows, we want the UK to be a world leader in the global transition to ultra-low emission motoring."

According to BMW, each engine will be built by a small team of people that have previously worked at the plant and have been specifically recruited and trained to work on the new units.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories