Most people don’t think about the engine. It’s a hunk of spinning, exploding metal and oil that is a problem only when it doesn’t work. Out of sight and out of mind is the mantra of most auto owners. But not every engine is a mass-produced piece of propulsion. Sometimes, high-powered performance engines receive special treatment, like the biturbocharged 4.4-liter V8 for the M850i.
Video and photos give a peek at the build process for the high-powered mill, showing how the engine moves through an individual manufacturing process. The video is depressingly short, but nothing short of mesmerizing. Hand-crafted engines are rare in the day of easy mass production. However, building something as delicate and as powerful as engine, especially for BMW, gives the car an added aura of luxury. If the BMW M850i xDrive coupe is the peak of BMW performance and luxury, building the hearts by hand makes sense.
The build process for the engine allows for more than the knowledge human hands built the powerplant. The factory where the engines are built uses technology to monitor data and collect data related to tightening torques on bolts and measure valve clearances. The data allows for the monitoring of the build process, ensuring the proper tools are being used at the work stations. Main components such as bearing shells and cylinder heads are given individual tracking codes to further automatize tracking of the build process, collecting data from when the factory receives the parts until their installation.
The biturbo 4.4-liter V8 in the BMW M850i produces 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That’s not hitting supercar levels of performance, but it’s still plenty for everyday driving. And making sure that engine is constructed with the highest quality means giving it some extra love during the build process.
BMW’s Munich plant, where the engine for the M850i is built, is also where the company builds other 6 or 8-cylinder engines BMW M engines. It’s also where the V12 engine for the BMW M760Li xDrive and Rolls-Royce models are built.
Gallery: BMW M850i Engine Build
The V8 Power Unit For The New BMW 8 Series Coupe: A Masterpiece From The Munich Engine Plant
The new BMW 8 Coupe is now rolling off the assembly line at the BMW Dingolfing plant, whilst the engine for the most dynamic model variant is being built at the company’s main factory in Munich. Parallel to the start of production of the luxury sports car, assembly of the first V8 engines for the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe (combined fuel consumption: 10.5 – 10.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 240 – 228 g/km) has been completed. The 4.4-litre, 390 kW/530 hp power unit for the BMW M Performance automobile is built at the BMW Group’s engine plant at the tradition-steeped BMW Group production location, where the latest hi-tech processes and the skilled craftsmanship of experienced experts are incorporated into a manufacturing process that is characterised by the highest degree of quality awareness. As a result, an engine is produced that arouses particularly emotional driving pleasure due to its fascinating combination of supreme running smoothness and racing-inspired performance.
The extraordinary character of the new V8 engines also reflected in the manufacturing processes applied at the Munich engine plant. Production of the high-performance power plant is effected using to a large extent the precision craftsmanship of highly qualified specialists who put each engine through an individual manufacturing process. Engine block, crankcase and cylinder head of the new V8 power unit are delivered to Munich by the light-metal foundry at the BMW Group Landshut plant, assembled on systems carriers with integrated data units and mechanically further processed with the highest degree of precision. As a result, it is possible during the manufacturing process to store all quality-related data such as tightening torques for bolts or valve clearances. The data exchange ensures that suitable tools and tightening torques for each respective engine are used at all assembly stations. In addition, main components such as bearing shells, con rods or cylinder heads are allocated an individual code. In this way, it is possible to keep precise track of the development of each component, from goods reception to installation.
With the assembly of the new V8 power unit at the Munich headquarters, the BMW Group is underscoring the significance of engine construction at its long-established production location. The competence of specialists for particularly efficient and complex power units at the BMW Munich plant is also used for the production of the current 6 or 8-cylinder engines for BMW M automobiles as well as twelve-cylinder engines for the BMW M760Li xDrive and Rolls-Royce models. It guarantees compliance with the highest quality standards and uncompromising processing quality to fulfill the prerequisites for outstanding performance and maximum driving pleasure experienced in the new BMW M850i xDrive Coupe.