50 YEARS OF BMW TURBO PASSION.

BMW Turbo Power is a success story in motorsport – and has been for 50 years. In 1969, BMW won the European Touring Car Championship with Dieter Quester (AUT) and the BMW 2002 TI, doing pioneering work and writing history in the process. The first BMW Turbo in motor racing – the M121 – provided the necessary drive.

After many more BMW Turbo engines in the 50 years since then, the newly-developed Class 1 regulation-compliant BMW P48 engine will make its debut in the BMW M4 DTM when this season’s DTM kicks off at Hockenheim (GER) at the start of May. Times may have changed, but the outstanding properties of the engine have remained the same.

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JiVS BMW M4 DTM and Schaeffler BMW M4 DTM
BMW Turbo M121

Despite the 50 years that lie between them, the two high-performance engines have a number of similarities: both are straight, four-cylinder engines with a two-litre capacity and a turbo charger. In both the BMW M121 and the P48, the sensitive engine components must be protected by a heat shield from the heat emitted by the turbo charger. A mechanical injection pump supplies the engine with fuel in both cases.

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MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH POWER WITH FAR LESS CONSUMPTION AND A MUCH LONGER SERVICE LIFE.

The pressure with which the combustion air is supplied to the engine, can hardly be compared any more. With 0.98 bar of pressure, the first generation of turbo race engine achieved approx. 280 hp at 6,500 rpm. The exhaust fan was theoretically capable of developing a boost pressure of 1.76 bar. However, the pressure in the cylinder would have been so great, that the cylinder head would have lifted off. Nowadays, boost pressures of up to 2.5 bar are possible with more than 600 hp. The crankcase and cylinder head were manufactured in a special sand-casting procedure in the BMW Landshut foundry.
In the meantime, components like the ignition distributor, fan, wet sump and boost valve have since disappeared from the engine. There is no longer a direct charge air pipe, which supplies the engine with compressed air without any cooling. Instead, the P48 has a sophisticated dry sump system. The oil required for lubrication purposes within the engine is extracted immediately without any oil being lost through splashes. Another part of this system is the oil tank, which is directly attached to the engine. Efficient charge air cooling also allows for increased performance and efficiency.

 

Auxiliary units, like the starter and generator, are no longer on the engine, but are mounted on the transaxle gearbox behind the engine. Carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic has replaced the old aluminium weld-and-cast construction on the plenum chamber. Furthermore, the butterfly is now moved electrically and no longer by a mechanical throttle rod. Instead of an open ignition harness, the electrical wires in the P48 are housed in a protective, carbon cable tray.

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DISCOVER THE NEW BMW P48 TWO-LITRE TURBO ENGINE.

BMW P48 turbo engine
Fuel pump

FUEL PUMP.

Plenty of pressure: the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chambers of the new turbo engine at 350 bar of pressure.

Plenum chamber

PLENUM CHAMBER.

The plenum chamber’s function is to collect the intake air compressed by the turbocharger, distribute this to the cylinders as evenly as possible and ensure optimum fill levels in the cylinders.

Water pump

WATER PUMP.

The water pump has to pump coolant through the engine and ensure that the circulation required for heat exchange takes place. It contributes to ensuring that the ideal operating temperature is reached and retained within the cooling system, without any danger of overheating.

Oil tank

OIL TANK.

The P48 has a sophisticated dry sump system. The oil required for lubrication within the engine is extracted immediately without any oil being lost through splashes. Another part of this system is the oil tank, which is directly attached to the engine.

Turbolader

TURBOCHARGER.

The turbocharger, often referred to simply as the turbo, increases engine performance and the efficiency of the BMW P48. It uses part of the energy from the engine exhaust gases to drive a turbine, which in turn drives a compressor that significantly increases the amount of air fed to the engine. This means that more oxygen is transported to the combustion cylinders than is the case with a non-turbo, normally-aspirated engine. This increases power and efficiency, as the pistons no longer have to aspirate the air themselves.

Butterfly

BUTTERFLY.

The butterfly regulates air intake for the engine.

Oil filter

OIL FILTER.

The quality of the oil filter plays an important role in avoiding damage due to dirt particles or material abrasion in the oil. Absolutely clean oil is essential if the engine is to perform reliably for extended periods of time. This is why oil filters are used which should continually clean the engine oil before it reaches critical points such as bearings and valve gears.

  • 1. FUEL PUMP.
    Fuel pump

    Plenty of pressure: the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chambers of the new turbo engine at 350 bar of pressure.

  • 2. PLENUM CHAMBER.
    Plenum chamber

    The plenum chamber’s function is to collect the intake air compressed by the turbocharger, distribute this to the cylinders as evenly as possible and ensure optimum fill levels in the cylinders.

  • 3. WATER PUMP.
    Water pump

    The water pump has to pump coolant through the engine and ensure that the circulation required for heat exchange takes place. It contributes to ensuring that the ideal operating temperature is reached and retained within the cooling system, without any danger of overheating.

  • 4. OIL TANK.
    Oil tank

    The P48 has a sophisticated dry sump system. The oil required for lubrication within the engine is extracted immediately without any oil being lost through splashes. Another part of this system is the oil tank, which is directly attached to the engine.

  • 5. TURBOCHARGER.
    Turbolader

    The turbocharger, often referred to simply as the turbo, increases engine performance and the efficiency of the BMW P48. It uses part of the energy from the engine exhaust gases to drive a turbine, which in turn drives a compressor that significantly increases the amount of air fed to the engine. This means that more oxygen is transported to the combustion cylinders than is the case with a non-turbo, normally-aspirated engine. This increases power and efficiency, as the pistons no longer have to aspirate the air themselves.

  • 6. BUTTERFLY.
    Butterfly

    The butterfly regulates air intake for the engine.

  • 7. OIL FILTER.
    Oil filter

    The quality of the oil filter plays an important role in avoiding damage due to dirt particles or material abrasion in the oil. Absolutely clean oil is essential if the engine is to perform reliably for extended periods of time. This is why oil filters are used which should continually clean the engine oil before it reaches critical points such as bearings and valve gears.

ONE OF THE MOST EFFICIENT BMW RACE ENGINES OF ALL TIME.

One of the key aspects of the P48 is its exceptionally good consumption. As the regulations limit the permitted fuel flow, every fuel saving means better performance and was followed in detail. Compared to its predecessor, which itself was very efficient, the current engine has been made almost 10 percent more efficient. It is actually more than 50 percent more efficient than the M121 from 1969. This was achieved with the help of the high-pressure direct fuel injection, as found in BMW production engines, as well as a mixture preparation and combustion – tried and tested in many simulations and tests – which allows the engine to operate in so-called ‘lean burn mode’.

A consistent minimisation of friction losses, such as through the aforementioned oil system and the use of high temperature-resistant components that do not require cooling by the fuel, make the P48 one of the most efficient BMW race engines of this day and age.
 

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Insight into the BMW techlab

BMW TURBO ENGINES GUARANTEE MAXIMUM SPORTINESS.

Despite all this, the original 1969 turbo need by no means hide when it comes to performance. As the developers of the BMW 2002 TI were not permitted to increase the displacement, the performance had to be increased elsewhere. The engine no longer aspirated its mixture itself. Instead, it was blown into the engine via the turbo charger. This transformed the BMW 2002 TI into a real sports car, with a top speed of 240 km/h. This was followed in 1973 by the first German car manufactured in production with a turbo charger: the BMW 2002 turbo.

The next chapter in the story of BMW Turbo in motorsport is now set to be written in the DTM. Above all, the Class 1 regulations herald a new technical era. The previous V8 engines have been replaced by more powerful, four-cylinder turbo engines. The sound of the new turbos is awesome, the performance nothing short of impressive. However, their most brilliant property is their efficiency. At 85 kilograms, the short engine in the new turbo power unit weighs little more than half of its predecessor. The lightweight model boasts impressive figures compared to the DTM engines used up to this point: half the displacement, more power, less consumption.

Despite the significant increase in power of about 100 hp, the unit is designed for reliability and durability, and lasts roughly 6,000 kilometres. 1.5 engines may be used per car over the course of the season. The Push-to-Pass system, new in 2019, provides an extra 5 kg/h of fuel for a duration of five seconds, resulting in an increase in power of roughly 30 hp.

The turbo charger in the P48 supplies the engine with 400 litres of air per second – 3,500 times as much as a human breathes. The pistons accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in less than a thousandth of a second – 1,200 times faster than a lunar rocket. The water pump shifts roughly 18,000 litres per hour. This is fast enough to fill a bath tub in roughly 20 seconds. 1,005 drawings were made for the final assembly of the engine, which consists of roughly 2,000 individual parts. Laid next to each other, they would cover the floor of a 250 sqm apartment.
A new era in touring car racing is dawning with the BMW P48 and the Class 1 regulations – just as it did with the engine’s forefather from 1969. The turbo is ready for ignition – today, as it was 50 years ago.

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  • Facts and figures on the new BMW P48 engine.

    Type:

    P48, R4 turbo engine with direct fuel injection

    Capacity:

    1,999 cc

    Weight:

    85 kg (basic weight, according to regulations)

    Bore:

    between 86 and 90 mm

    Engine speed:

    max. 9,500 rpm

    Power output:

    over 600 hp

    Service life:

    over 6,000 km (per season)

    Fuel mass flow restrictor:

    mandatory 95 kg/h, 100 kg/h with push-to-pass activated

HALF A CENTURY OF BMW TURBO LEGENDS.

BMW Bank M4 DTM
BMW 320 Turbo
BMW P48 turbo enginge
BMW 2002 turbo
BMW Bank M4 DTM
BMW 320i Turbo
BMW 2002 TI
BMW 2002 turbo

BMW Bank M4 DTM

BMW Bank M4 DTM

BMW 320 Turbo

BMW 320i Turbo

BMW 2002 TI

BMW P48 turbo enginge

It is definitely the most efficient DTM engine that BMW has ever built.
An interview with Jan Hartmann, Head of Drivetrain, Electrics and Electronics Development

The start of the 2019 season marks the dawn of the new Class 1 era in the DTM. With the BMW M4 DTM, modified in line with the Class 1 regulations, BMW M Motorsport has built the most powerful DTM car ever. At the heart of the car is the newly-developed BMW P48 two-litre turbo engine. Jan Hartmann, Head of Drivetrain, Electrics and Electronics Development, played a major role in the development of the new engine. In an interview, he speaks about the special challenges faced during this project, explains the individual steps involved in developing the engine, and describes why the development of the BMW P48 turbo engine was such a special project for him.

 

Mr. Hartmann, you played a major role in the development of the new BMW P48 turbo engine. What were the main challenges you faced during this project?
Jan Hartmann
: “The biggest trick was the balancing act between the parameters in the regulations: Maximum power, whilst at the same time achieving very low, specific fuel consumption. I think we did a good job of achieving that balance. It is definitely the most efficient DTM engine that BMW has ever built.”

 

What approach is taken when developing a new engine?
Hartmann
: “Design, calculation and testing always take place simultaneously. This continues until you reach a point where you can say: The performance is right, now it is a question of durability.”

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What are the individual steps in the development?
Hartmann
: “You start with developing the performance. Then you have to mould the whole thing towards durability and make compromises in terms of performance. Next up is another performance round, without neglecting durability. To a great extent, everything runs parallel.”

So, you gradually work your way towards the maximum, bit by bit?
Hartmann
: “You can compare it with a high jumper: Any high jumper can probably clear 1.80 metres at three in the morning, having just woken up. That is nothing special for him – nothing he would get excited about. However, if the bar is at 2.29 metres, and it wobbles but he doesn’t knock it off, then that is an exhilarating feeling. That is exactly how it is for us when developing an engine – we can really compare ourselves with athletes here.”

 

You have a lot of experience in engine development. To what extent was developing the BMW P48 Turbo engine still something special for you?
Hartmann
: “Generally speaking, every project, in which we start development from scratch, is an incredibly exciting challenge – especially given the conditions it takes place under. The P48 for the BMW M4 DTM is definitely one of the most exciting projects.”

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Learn more about the 2019 DTM season

THE STRONGEST DTM EVER.

New engines with turbo power. New racetracks. A new manufacturer. The 2019 DTM season promises to be one of the most exciting of all time. Together with Bruno Spengler we give an overview of the most important changes.
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