The Spun Bearing: Selling Engines, Dodge Dart, and the Dreaded V6

Selling Engines

BMW has announced the sale of engines to a number of companies in the recent past. First Carbon Motors, building police cars, agreed to purchase inline six cylinder diesels from BMW. Then BMW announced a sale of engines to SAAB. And recently BMW and Toyota announced that Toyota is being BMW diesel engines.

Carbon Motors is in the process of building up its infrastructure to produce vehicles, SAAB is in purgatory with its chances to be a viable concern dwindling with each passing minute. Makes you winder what’s going to happen to Toyota. Agreeing to buy engines from BMW may be the kiss of death.

BMW begin life as a supplier of engines to the aircraft industry. After coming back from the dead in 1922, it sold engines to motorcycle manufacturers. After World War II, BMW sold marine engines (and aero engines) for a number of years before eventually exiting both markets. You can still find BMW diesel marine engines in use. In fact there is a BMW Marine web site that has a familiar look and feel:http://www.bmwmarine.net/

Dodge Dart

When Fiat was awarded controling interest in Chrysler (for a song), they were given a couple of incentives to earn an even bigger chunk of the company. One of them was to build a car in the US that would get 40 MPG (or better) to get another piece of the company.

To purchase that last piece of the the pie, Fiat is building a new Dodge Dart on a stretched Alfa Giulietta platform. It will use a couple of MultiAir engines  and a 2.4L gas engine. Look for the ZF 9 speed automatic transmission to be available in this vehicle not too long after its introduction. Production of the Dart is slated for the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois.

On a personal note, I took drivers ed in a Dodge Dart. It was a 1968¬† or so, ugly green, slant six cylinder, three speed automatic trannsmission, and the sloppiest power steering I think I’ve ever experienced.

The Dreaded V6

There continues to be a lot of speculation on what engine will power the F30 version of the M3. Some of us would prefer a hot rodded version of the N55 inline six, others would hope for a continuation of the S65B40 V8, but what will BMW do?

What we know (almost for certain) is that the next M3 will be using forced induction. Right now the S63tu in the F10 M5 is the pinnacle of M engines. The reverse flow heads (outboard intake ports, inboard exhausts) is akey to power delivery. And the 90 degree V spacing of the V8 helps with packaging the turbo.

Given that M is very comfortable with building V8 forced induction motors, how big of a stretch is it to think that they’d build a V6 off the same basic design. Here’s what a 90 degree V6 has going for it. You get less weight forward on the nose of the car than an inline six. That’s even more critical when you consider all of the extra weight you have to have forward for intercoolers and such in a turbocharged engine over a naturally aspirated one. The same V spacing on a V6 as a V8 gives a wide enough spread to install the turbo(s).

The downside of a 90 degree V6 is the industrial exhaust sound due to the nature of the beast. But that can be overcome. Look at what Porsche has done to tune the sound of the 90 degree V6 in the base Panamera.

Regardless, and whatever M has decided will power the next M3, we can hope that like the new M5 the next M3 will be both more powerful and more efficient than the outgoing model.




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