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Mike Stevens | Mar 24, 2010

BMW IS WORKING on a range of new modular petrol and diesel engines to go into 1.5 million cars each year - 200,000 more than the combined sales for all three of its brands last year.

The development of the new engines was confirmed by CEO Norbert Reithofer this week, describing the company's engine plans as being of "a scale we never had at BMW before".

In 2009, BMW sold nearly 1.3 million cars worlwide, about 400,000 of those sales made up of small and compact models. While the company expects to reach 1.5 million annual sales in the near future, Mr Reithofer has confirmed a 2020 target of 2 million sales across the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands.

Made up of three-, four- and six-cylinder layouts, the new engines are being designed primarily to suit BMW's new front-wheel-drive architecture, although they will also be used with the company's rear-wheel-drive models.

Mr Reithofer confirmed earlier this week that the German carmaker's new front-wheel-drive platform will underpin between 700,000 to 1 million cars each year, with sales to begin in 2014 or 2015.

Showing a sense of humour, Mr Reithofer told industry paper Automotive News this week that while BMW will offer more than one front-wheel-drive model, he would not go into detail yet - "because then [Volkswagen CEO] Mr. Winterkorn knows it as well."

 

BMW May Drop Sedan Bodystyle From Next-Generation M3

THE SEDAN BODYSTYLE has always come and gone from the BMW M3 'range' without rhyme or reason since the model debuted more than 20 years ago. It seems the sedan is set to depart once more, with reports out of Europe this week suggesting BMW will offer the next-generation M3 in coupe form only.

According to Automobile magazine, the next M3 will include a convertible model with a more dedicated shape, featuring a longer and lower windscreen and a folding fabric roof. A separate convertible model may also feature, retaining the current convertible's hardtop roof - a popular feature in the North American market.

Earlier reports have also suggested that BMW is planning to switch out the M3's V8 and replace it with a turbo-charged six-cylinder for the new model, though it’s not yet been decided whether it will be an inline-six or a V6 unit.

Speaking with Motor Trend last year, BMW’s M division boss Ludwig Willisch couldn’t confirm the shape of the power plant, but did say that it would not be based on the I6 currently powering the 335i.

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