BMW invents the diesel that puts out 127 horsepower per liter: the Triturbo

BMW-Friedrich-NitschkeDr. Friedrich Nitschke, the president of BMW M GmbH (our picture), has officially announced that BMW will launch a new line of high performance automobiles. Some people may think that all BMW cars are high performance, but there’s quite a gap between the base 4-cylinder models and the hardcore M3 and M5. This is where these upcoming models will stand. Their name is hardly original: they’ll be labeled as BMW M Performance Automobiles. We expect a sharpened driving experience, maybe with an option like active steering now fitted as standard, and more power. That might be the most important point, BMW M Performance Automobiles will get some specific engines, gas or diesel.

We shall expect a new evolution of BMW’s famed 3-liter inline-6, to allow the Bavarian manufacturer to regain its lead in front of all the competition. This twin-turbo diesel pumped out 286-hp when it launched, but it’s making 313-hp in its latest guise. Just as Audi’s latest 3-liter turbo-diesel (please note that those numbers are for European models). So what’s the plan? How do you improve an engine with 2 turbochargers? Well, just add another one. That will make 3 turbochargers, and a that is world first, but that’s not the only one. How does 127 horsepower per liter sound? That is a quite exceptional value for a gasoline engine, and it’s totally unheard of from a diesel. But BMW is about to do it, Dr Nitschke explained it to German magazine Auto Zeitung.

The new triturbo engine should be good for 280 kilowatts (381 hp) with 740 Nm (546 lb-ft) of torque. To those not familiar with engine specs, new measurement methods make that more than what a legendary AC Cobra 427 had in its heyday. We’ll get that in a comfortable 5-seater that gets 40 mpg on the highway in 2012. With all wheel drive, this is called progress.