BMW’s new i8 hybrid supercar will go on sale this weekend, complementing its revolutionary German-made design with British-built engines.
The carmaker’s unique Hams Hall engine factory, near Birmingham, was selected to provide the powertrain for the plug-in sports car.
Each of the new three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engines that were built specifically for the model at the production facility will go into the new i8, which is due to be released worldwide.
Combining the dynamics and high-performance values of a sports car with the fuel efficiency for a small car, the i8 is one of the most in-demand cars in recent history and will also be the first-ever BMW to be powered by a three-pot engine.
Already, the model has sold out before its release and prospective buyers will have to be prepared to spend more than a year on the waiting list.
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 new TwinPower Turbo engine will be built by a small team of engineers who were specifically picked to work on the new units along with two technical apprentices who spent the final year of their training working on the engine.
Former apprentice James Law, who is now in a full-time job with the new team, said: "My apprenticeship was an ideal combination of academic study, through which I achieved higher qualifications, along with practical, invaluable work placements.
It has been a fantastic opportunity to see this new engine manufacturing facility being installed and I’m thrilled to have successfully completed my apprenticeship and to be working in such an interesting, technical role within the new team."
The plant at Hams Hall has a long track record of producing fuel efficient engines, with over 3.5 million of them produced there since the facility opened in 2001.
Last year alone, over 400,000 engines were produced there, which accounted for around 16 per cent of all engine production in the UK.
The TwinPower Turbo that will be present in the all-new i8 is conceived to be the first in a new range of ultra-efficient but high performance engines that are to be manufactured exclusively at the Hams Hall plant.