Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BMW 116i

BMW has phased out its N45 inline-4 engine family, currently used in the BMW 116i. The N45 is a rather basic engine compared to the rest of the BMW line-up, it doesn’t even have Valvetronic, which these days is only absent on turbocharged BMW engines. The only other application has been in the limited edition BMW 320si, which used an N45 engine with displacement increased to 2.0 liters. That one produced 173 PS at 7,000 and 200Nm at 4,250rpm, but the N45B16 in the 116i only produced 122hp at 6,000rpm and 160Nm of torque at 4,300rpm.

From this year on, the 116i will be powered by the more advanced N46, which produces the same 122hp, but torque has been upped to 185Nm between 3,000 to 4,250rpm. This is because the new engine is actually the same 2.0 liter engine that’s found in the 118i and the 120i, only with different tuning. This engine also has Valvetronic, which provides variable valve lift and operates without using a throttle plate.

This is also happening with many other BMW models. The numbers on a vehicle’s badge doesn’t necessarily indicate the displacement of the engine under the hood anymore. Alot of the x25i cars around are now running with 3.0 liter engines, tuned to produce the same power and torque as a 2.5 liter but with torque over a wider spread of RPMs, to improve driveability. This would be a problem in Malaysia because of the displacement-tied road tax (as opposed to power output or emissions tied), so expect the 325i to continue to be offered with a 2.5 liter engine for the moment.

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