Bmws Choice of Engine and Transmissions

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Car companies such as the German BMW are always looking for ways to improve the performance of their engine and gear boxes.

It is a known fact that the auto industry is a dynamic one with car manufacturers coming up with more and more innovations as time goes by. It was not so long ago that vehicles produced are equipped with engines that are capable of producing only low power. But through constant developments and new innovations, newer engines have been produced which give a better power output and better transmissions that are capable of even smoother gear changes. These innovations are an integral part of a car manufacturer's dedication to provide better cars for their consumers.

For the German Bavarian Motor Works company, their engines should be top of the line in order for their cars to be strong competitors on their class. One of the engines offered by BMW for their vehicles is the 3.0-liter in-line V6 engine. While the world of performance cars is dominated by the use of V6 or V8 engines, BMW offers an in-line engine that is capable of matching the performance of V engines.

BMW's in-line six-cylinder engine can produce as much as 255 horsepower. The engine features a Double VANOS valve regulation system. This feature is electronically controlled and manipulates the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. This means that the engine can instantly increase its power output depending on the demand of the driver. And since it regulates the opening and closing of the exhaust valves, emission is controlled too. This innovation also makes this engine a fuel efficient powerplant.

Aside from the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, BMW also offers a bigger 4.8-liter V8 engine. This engine replaces the award wining BMW engine in BMW's engine lineup. This V8 unit is rated to produce 360 horsepower at 6300 revolutions per minute and 360 lb-ft of torque at around 3400 revs per minute. The said power is enhanced by the Valvetronic and Double VANOS features. According to BMW, "Valvetronic eliminates the need for a traditional throttle, allowing the engine to 'breathe' more easily via continuously variable valve lift control." This feature allows the engine to have a better fuel efficiency especially during low-load operations where most driving takes place.

The Double VANOS feature on the other hand "allows the engine to 'steplessly' choose the valve timings for both intake and exhaust camshafts," explains BMW. The company's website explains how the Double VANOS works saying, "Double-VANOS controls the four camshafts in this V-8 to deliver more low-to-medium-speed torque for strong acceleration, added flexibility for better highway performance, and a quieter, smoother engine at idle."

To get the best out of these engines, BMW developed gear boxes that will facilitate the smooth transfer of power from the engine to the drive wheels of BMW vehicles. The newest innovation to come out of BMW is the STEPTRONIC automatic transmission. The gear box is available in a five or a six-speed configuration. These automatic transmissions allow drivers to manually shift gears. This feature is aimed at the performance enthusiast who wants better control of the vehicle's gear changes. While the transmission permits manual transmission, it also prevents the driver from shifting into another gear if that action has the potential of damaging the engine and the transmission. The gear box also automatically changes gear even in manual mode if the gear ratio does not match with the speed of the engine.

These engines and transmissions make BMW one of the most sought after brands when it comes to performance vehicles. The performance of the engine can be enhanced further with the use of BMW aftermarket parts. Using these parts increases the performance of the engine while some aftermarket parts increases the aesthetic value of the already good-looking BMW models.

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