BMW’s first purpose-built, plug-in hybrid sports car, the i8, goes on sale this weekend, powered by engines exclusively produced at BMW’s Hams Hall engine manufacturing facility, near Birmingham.
The new production area has been developed for the worldwide manufacture of BMW’s new range three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo technology petrol engines. This is the first of a new generation of engines to be built at Hams Hall.
Each engine is built by a small team who have been specifically recruited and trained to work on the new engines. Two ex-technical apprentices who previously worked on the development of the new facility are now placed in full-time technical jobs within the new team.
Plant director, Nick Spencer, said, “Our plant is going through a huge transformation, and we are excited to see the first of our brand-new engine assembly facilities ramping up production. The new three-cylinder petrol engines will enable the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car to set new standards for dynamic performance in combination with industry-leading fuel efficiency and low carbon emission levels. With the exclusive supply of these engines coming from the Hams Hall plant, we are proud to be contributing to this innovative new sports car.”
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said, “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.”
The Hams Hall plant was opened in 2001 and has now manufactured over 3.5 million small, fuel efficient and low emission engines. Over 400,000 engines were produced during 2013 representing around 16 per cent of all engine production in the UK.