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New 1.5-litre 3-cylinder Mini Cooper is fun and frugal

New 1.5-litre 3-cylinder Cooper is fun and frugal

Published on Jun 7, 2014 11:24 AM

Three-cylinder engines used to be the preserve of budget cars. They were light, economical and inexpensive. But most also tended to be tinny, wheezy and buzzy.

So when BMW Group announced a few years ago that it would be using three-cylinder power plants, it had on its hands a monumental task.

It had to come up with an engine that meets increasingly stringent emission standards (the primary reason for the downsize) and, at the same time, meets people's high expectations of a BMW engine.

From the looks of it, it has succeeded. The turbocharged 1.5-litre inline-three in the BMW i8 hybrid sports car puts on quite a convincing performance. It even sounds convincing, with the help of electronic acoustic amplifiers.

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Background story



Price: $145,300 with COE

Engine: 1,499cc 12-valve inline-3 turbocharged

Transmission: Six-speed automatic with manual select

Power: 136bhp at 4,500rpm

Torque: 220Nm at 1,250-4,000rpm (230Nm at 1,300rpm with overboost)

0-100kmh: 7.8 seconds

Top speed: 210kmh

Fuel consumption: 4.9 litres/100km

Agent: Eurokars Habitat