By on May 6, 2012

BMW turns more and more into the world’s purveyor of engines. If recent talks are successful, BMW motors could power Hyundai cars. This according to a report in Germany’s industry publication Automobil Produktion.

The magazine reports that Chung Eui-Sun, Vice-Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company and only son of und Hyundai CEO Chung Mong-Koo, has been in Munich to start the talks.

BMW needs to put its engines into more than its own 1.7 million cars which BMW sold in 2011. The development of a new engine family costs between one and two billion Euro ($1.3 to 2.6 billion.) The 5.7 million units sold by Hyundai/Kia could deliver the desired scale effects.

BMW has engine alliances with PSA and Toyota. A cooperation with GM could be in the works. With so many partners, there also are ten times as many toes to step on. Both BMW and Hyundai officially deny any talks.

“Further co-operation partners are currently not foreseen,” BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer told Reuters.  A Hyundai spokesman called speculations about meetings between senior company officials ” groundless.” Nevertheless, a source inside of BMW confirmed to Reuters that there are talks “in the early stages.”

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

46 Comments on “Hyundai, Powered By BMW?...”


  • avatar
    wallstreet

    It’s time for BMW to consider buying Hyundai. It not only help them meet CAFE but also trump MB over total volume.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Hyundai is a fine manufacturer of vehicles for the masses but BMW buying it would only cheapen the BMW brand, renown heretofore for its world-class unsurpassed engineering and high-quality driving automobiles.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        Oh, I dunno, look at how well the marriage between Daimler and Chrysler went…. ah, never mind.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I have a some experience with the 1978 BMW 1.6-liter I-4 and a 1982 BMW 1.8-liter I-4 that I helped a friend rebuild. Those engines were pretty darn good in their day and they were smooth because the internals were individually weighed and balanced. Lots of human involvement in building those engines.

        But to compare them to today’s mass-produced line-engines from Hyundai, like the 1.8 OHC I-4, or the 2.4 GDI and TGDI I-4s , would be a stretch. That would drive up the price of Hyundai cars significantly.

        Were Hyundai to put any of the BMW I-6 (2.8-3.5) or BMW V8 (4.0-5.5), or even the plain old BMW 6-liter V12, in their luxury cars, that would put Hyundai out of even the luxury markets. I can’t see how this could be done and remain competitive.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Are we talking about the same BMW that made (and was saved by) the “Urkelmobile”/bubble car, the BMW Isetta?

        Hyundai had previously turned down an overture from Daimler about partnering on 4 cyl powerplants which is why Daimler eventually paired up with Nissan.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Mybe H/K engineers realize the GDI engines are gonna b troublesome in the long run.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        BMW wound up with Mini by buying Rover, which was probably not an operation with better brand equity than Hyundai has today. Land Rovers were expensive but terribly made and engineered, then just as today. The cars were badly badge engineered Honda shells fitted with woeful homegrown engines and transaxles. Think Sterling with an engine as good as the rest of the car instead of the Acura V6.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        “Land Rovers were expensive but terribly made and engineered, then just as today. The cars were badly badge engineered Honda shells fitted with woeful homegrown engines and transaxles. Think Sterling with an engine as good as the rest of the car instead of the Acura V6.”

        Land Rovers are wonderfully made and engineered for the job they have to do which is the only definition of ‘good’ engineering. Quality is not measured by how many bits fall off or how often it breaks down compared to other vehicles it is measured by how it lives up to what the customer wants of it. A Land-Rover/Range-Rover customer wants a prestige vehicle that is perceived as being the best off-road vehicle out there. The reputation for bits falling off and breaking down is well entrenched with LR although is probably exaggerated – however such a reputation clearly doesn’t matter a jot to those buying them otherwise LR wouldn’t sell so many and be raking in such huge profits. Therefore LR make quality vehicles.

        With respect to the Sterling/R800, the Honda V6 was a boat anchor at least in 2.5 guise – the worst part of the car. The Rover 800 only hit it’s straps when it was latterly replaced with the home-grown KV6 (However when Kia made the KV6 they ballsed it up royally – but that’s another story). The ‘transaxles’ as you chaps called them were conversely actually Honda units. They were very good indeed. The body in white of the R800 and Honda Legend was mostly engineered by Rover, Honda have very little if any large vehicle expertise at that point – so so much for being Honda shells. Admittedly though early 800 weren’t great cars. Rover’s R8 200/400 series was however a great car in every respect particularly it’s Rover engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “Quality is not measured by how many bits fall off or how often it breaks down”

        I’ll be damned. I guess Rovers are quality vehicles after all.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        In the US, Land Rover/Range Rover customers buy them to make arrivals in cars that announce their wealth and uniqueness(very relative term). For that they are horribly engineered, built and specced. They arrive less than any other vehicle and they often embarrass their owners with electrical faults visible to outsiders and failing door hinges and interior fittings when there are passengers involved. Junk. As for the Sterling, Rover didn’t have a generation of cars with upper and lower control arm suspension combined with FWD. Honda did. The Legend was a big Accord. The Legend was also a car that lasted a couple hundred thousand miles with minimum headaches. I still see them on the roads here in low-rust San Diego. Suggesting their engines were a weak point in the Sterling is an act of the purest revisionism. Sort of like suggesting the K-series engine being good compared to anything other than one of the 4 cylinder, 475 lb OHV boat anchors common to British cars until its arrival.

      • 0 avatar
        ppxhbqt

        “Mybe H/K engineers realize the GDI engines are gonna b troublesome in the long run.”

        Uhh, BMW also uses GDI engines and they’ve already proven troublesome. So what’s your point?

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        ““Quality is not measured by how many bits fall off or how often it breaks down”

        I’ll be damned. I guess Rovers are quality vehicles after all.”

        By that I presume you mean Land-Rovers. I understand you may be attempting to mock me. However, LR for over 60 years have been producing vehicles that would certain not top any reliability rankings that is true. Nevertheless that is clearly a poor indicator of quality in this case. LR continue to sell many vehicles and make big profits. This would not be the case if reliability featured strongly in the customer’s purchasing decision.

        To CJinSD

        “In the US, Land Rover/Range Rover customers buy them to make arrivals in cars that announce their wealth and uniqueness(very relative term). For that they are horribly engineered, built and specced.”

        I disagree. LR engineer their vehicles to appeal to and thus sell cars to the customer, in this they succeed wonderfully. If they do so without having to spend unneccessary resources as you suggest on making their vehicles reliable (although I think their unreliablitily is a bit overstated) then that is the epitome of good engineering in the purest Colin Chapman over-the-finish line tradition. That said however there is no denying that LR make some sublimely capable off-road machine, which more than anything is their core value.

        “As for the Sterling, Rover didn’t have a generation of cars with upper and lower control arm suspension combined with FWD.”

        Hate to break it to you, but they had many more cars with upper and lower control arms than Honda did. For example the Metro, Mini, Dolomite, Ambassador, Allegro, Maxi, Princess, MGB and we won’t even include Jaguars and the Triumph Acclaim.

        The front suspension on the r800 was double wishbone at Honda’s insistance however the rear was not (actually it wasn’t on the Legend either). The front suspension layout was apparently most detrimental to the ride quality and was a compromise to allow the low scuttle height.

        The body however was Rover major contribution to the XX/HX project. It owes nothing to the Accord in fact the reverse is true. Here for example is a photo of the R800 prior to Honda’s involvement in the project:

        http://www.aronline.co.uk/images/r800_03.jpg

        “Suggesting their engines were a weak point in the Sterling is an act of the purest revisionism. Sort of like suggesting the K-series engine being good compared to anything other than one of the 4 cylinder, 475 lb OHV boat anchors common to British cars until its arrival.”

        Having had 4 R800s I feel I can speak with some authority on their strengths and weaknesses. The 2.5 Honda was dreadful in this application, underpowered and lacking torque. The 2.7 though was a peach. However the best motor was the M16 with a (Honda) manual gearbox, since the 2.7 was somewhat thirsty. Pure revisionism is sitting in 2012 commenting on a 1980′s car when your opinion of said vehicle is based purely on heresay. I never particularly liked the 800 some of the trim was decidely poorly executed, however it performed well as a company car and the seats were very comfortable.

        And for the record Rover only had two mainstream OHV engines when the K-Series was introduced in 1989. they being the A-Series which weighed 252lbs including gearbox and the Rover V8 which weighed an astonishing 318lbs. They would not have been very effective moorings for water vessels.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      BMW couldn’t buy Hyundai automotive outright, it only makes about 30% more revenue on a yearly basis. If you count the ties that Hyundai Automotive has to the rest of the conglomerate, Hyundai is much, much bigger. In capitalist South Korea, car company swallows you.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        That’s certainly an important point – Hyundai is one of the Big 4 chaebol of South Korea (analogus to the Japanese keiretsu). When Americans talk about corporations owning the country, it’s not even close to the extent that the South Korea chaebols do.

        If everything was for sale, Hyundai would swallow BMW whole, then ask for Daimler for seconds.

    • 0 avatar
      seanx37

      It would probably be the other way around. Hyundai buying BMW if it were ever come up for sale.

  • avatar
    carbiz

    Didn’t GM and BMW already walk down the aisle once: the current 6 spd auto was a threesome between GM,BMW and Ford. BMW was already using some GM automatic transmissions, so the joint effort was logical. I remember GM telling us that the underpowered, but highly sophisticated 6 cylinder in the Chevrolet Epica was co-engineered with Lotus and Porsche.
    With the lawyers soaking up more OEM’s budgets, the hard R&D gets very expensive to go alone. Nobody would consider BMW and GM to be competing for the same markets, so it makes sense for them to hitch up and spread around the developmental costs in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      wallstreet

      BMW uses GM’s AT in E90 328i. That GM AT is inferior comparing to 335i’s ZF unit and that’s the reason BMW stop equipping GM units for F30 328i.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I know this is off-topic, but to improve their long-term chances of survival, I wish that GM would reverse-engineer that magnificent all-aluminum, 32-valve, DOHC, Tundra 5.7-liter V8 and offer it in their half-ton 2014 Silverado.

      If GM doesn’t want to reverse-engineer or produce that engine, at least strike up a deal with Toyota to provide that engine as an optional engine for the half-ton Silverado, like Ford did with the Yamaha SHO engine, or Saturn did with the Honda V6.

      And while GM is at it, reverse-engineer, or otherwise provide the Daimler/Chrysler all-aluminum, 24-valve, DOHC VVT Pentastar V6 as an option in a lighter-duty Silverado.

      I also think that GM should offer only one automatic transmission in all their trucks; the unsurpassed Allison! There ain’t none better!

      Look at it as economy of scale, providing one automatic transmission for the entire line and offering one optional manual transmission for the die-hard rower, with hydraulic clutch pedal and a variety of differential ratios for individualized applications, like towing (4.90) or hauling (4.11), or even highway cruising (3.73).

      In this day and age where the battle-lines between auto makers are so vague, this is not out of line, especially if Hyundai can strike up a deal with BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        GM could use its excellent 3.6 liter DOHC V6 in its trucks. It’s already in the RWD Camaro and would make a fine competitor to the 3.7 liter DOHC Ford V6 that comes in the F-150.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Guys you are talking about a company that wouldn’t put the Atlas I6 in their trucks when it was around… instead they kept the very old 4.3V6 in production.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Sam beat me to it. GM and Ford both have engines just as good as the Pentastar (the Pentastar is a great engine, but a lot of the hype it’s received has been how much of a quantum leap it was over Chryco’s previously underwhelming V6 offerings), and Dodge at least is putting it into the Ram for the 2013 models.

        The Silverado goes through a redesign soon IIRC, I would be very surprised if GM’s ‘High Feature’ 3.6 doesn’t end up under the hood.

        Chevy already has a great engine to compete with Toyota’s 5.7 – the 6.2 V8. It has better HP and Torque numbers and fuel economy is almost even with 13/18 for the GM 6.2 and 14/18 for the Toyota 5.7 (for 2wd models, swich to 4×4 and the GM takes a 1mpg highway advantage at 12/18 vs 13/17).

        The problem is that GM doesn’t offer that engine except on the GMC Sierra Denali. Again, with a fullsize truck redesign in the works, I’d expect that to change.

        EDIT:

        Great point Dan. The Atlas was a phenomenal engine that just needed a good home. Even as underwhelming as the Envoy/TrailBlazer/etc were near the end, just having that I6 available could make them tempting.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Sam P, I don’t know a whole lot about the GM 3.6 but I believe that it is a wide-bore short-stroke engine, like the European car engines from Opel.

        For V6 truck applications I believe it is best to have a narrow bore, long-stroke engine, like the Ford 3.7 or the tall Pentastar V6 that has oodles and oodles of grunt in it for hi-torque rock-crawling applications.

        The electric VVT enhances the torque curve at any rpm and the 6-quart oil sump of the Pentastar V6 with the top-mounted oil filter helps cool the aluminum engine during hi-torque applications. It’s a winner.

        Nullo, I’m sure you’re right. You’ve always been right in the past. The reason that I am impressed with the new Pentastar V6 is because we have one in my wife’s 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland Summit 4X4. That’s a pretty hefty CUV, not light by any standards, but it can rock-crawl with the best of them.

        And the grunt and growl from that little V6 as it crawls over huge boulders just blows the mind. It makes the GM engines sound downright whiney and shrill.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        @Nullo, I have spent a decent amount of time in a 2000 (S15) Jimmy and the 4.3V6 is a decent hard working engine but yes the lack of progress when GM came out with a SMOOTH I-6 that made 275hp but would not put it in anything but ONE platform, that was a disappointment.

        I know a few people who bought Trailblazers largely based on that smooth engine and liking the noise it made. I wish someone would come up with a kit to drop the Atlas into old Jaguars with bad engines. At least your Jag would stay I6… :)

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Dan, didn’t the GM I-5 and I-6 have head-warping problems and blow headgaskets on a regular basis like the Saturn I-4 did?

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        @highdesertcat, classic GM… early units had some issues with their “lost foam casting process” which GM eventually straightend out and then killed the engine.

        That’s GMs history for the last few decades… introduce subpar product and make customers beta-testers, fix product, realize everyone is leery of product, kill product…

        This is why I believe the guys who say that the last few years of Northstar finally fixed the headgasket issue. That would be classic GM.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Highdesertcat –

        The Pentastar actually has the largest bore and shortest stroke of the three (3.78×3.27 bore/stroke for the Pentastar vs. 3.70×3.37 on the GM 3.6 and 3.76×3.41 on the Duratec 37).

        I wasn’t around for the old hot rod tuning days, but from what I’ve read while it used to be a rule of thumb that a longer stroke led to more torque while a larger bore combined with a shorter stroke could ramp up revs for more HP, it seems that in modern days with fancy variable cam and valve timing, direct injection, and more computing power in the engine control software than what it took to land a man on the moon, the old rules don’t hold quite as fast anymore.

        There would likely have to be some changes for truck duty – Ford’s 3.7 in the F-150 has cast manifolds instead of composite, a stronger bottom end with an extra two bolts, and an integrated oil cooler built into the oil filter housing compared to the 3.7 found in the Mustang. I’m sure Chrysler will be beefing up the Pentastar for Ram duty, and GM could so something similar to the 3.6.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Dan & Nullo, thanks guys. Interesting stuff. I used to do a lot of engine work myself, especially when I was young while living at my parents’ home in CA and my dad put me to work rebuilding the 426 Hemi engines for his dragster. I have resolved to put all that behind me when I could no longer bend and squat like I used to.

        Come to think of it, that coincided pretty much with an increase in grunting and groaning while trying to crawl under my cars in the driveway after age 60. That age has long since come and gone. I’m pushing 67 now. Ain’t no spring chicken no mo’.

        I’m not planning to keep any of my current vehicles beyond the warranty period so I should never have to crawl under them in my driveway again, except maybe under the hoist at the nearby airbase when changing oil at the Hobby Shop.

        Still, the topic of engines and cars remains close to my heart.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        “That’s GMs history for the last few decades… introduce subpar product and make customers beta-testers, fix product, realize everyone is leery of product, kill product.”

        That’s only the half of it with the Atlas.

        It leaves out that GM went through this 10 year, billion dollar comedy to build what amounted to an inferior stand in for the world beating Gen III small block which they apparently didn’t realize they already had.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        @Nullo:

        GM actually offers the 6.2L in non-Denali trims. I think the extended cab LT is the cheapest way to get it.

        It would have to be a special order though, I’ve never seen a dealer stock a mid-level truck with the 6.2.

      • 0 avatar
        joeveto3

        I always thought it would be cool to see the Atlas I6 used in a car application. I don’t know if the dimensions would allow for it, but in a Camaro or even a Caddy, would have been neat.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    I imagine this would be some kind of diesel or partnership, since Hyundai’s gasoline engines, including the 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter direct injection turbos in the Veloster and Genesis Coupe, already surpass similar BMW engines in the Mini and 3 series.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    Guess that warranty is going to have to come down.
    amiright?

  • avatar
    carguy

    BMW is chasing economies of scale which will allow them to continue to do the kind of R&D that will keep their engines ahead of their competitors. BMW is a small company in terms of sales and they need technology partnerships to offset their R&D costs.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This means that Hyundais will be impossible to work on and the engines won’t last past 5 years. That or the turbos will blow up.

    Oddly enough, I think that I’ll stick with the Korean engines, German engineering isn’t what it used to be.

    Note: This is based off of the more recent Beemers, not the pre-00 models.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    I assume Hyundai will update their dealer service waiting rooms to be much more comfortable. Since owners will be spending much more time in them with BMW engines.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Doesn’t Porsche already have some sort of development program for engines? I seem to recall that the v-6 duratec was originally engineered by Porsche and then Ford “Forderized” .. ie shortened the crank dropped a bunch of HP/Torque and created some balance issues within the engine. (which is why the Jag had special damper compared to the Ford version of the engine)

    Now if instead they are talking about sharing production of a powerplant.. ie your 325i and your Hyundai Sonata sharing the same engine.. now THAT will be interesting.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    IMHO, German engineering never was as good as it “used to be”. I had a Merkur XR4Ti.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I think the turbocharged Pinto/Lima/boat anchor engine used in the Merkur XR4Ti was made in Brazil and patched together into the configuration used in the US. The German market Sierra XR4i used a naturally aspirated Cologne V6.

  • avatar
    Transform

    The new GM 3.6 makes 323HP, weighs 355 lbs, and gets 31mpg in a 3800 lb Camero. I don’t think any other v6 can match that, at any (absurd BMW)price. I wouldn’t buy GM because of the bailout, but give credit where it is due.

  • avatar
    stuki

    An Asian spoiled rich kid with a crush on BMW? How novel!

    BMW does seem to be the company putting the most sophisticated ICEs into production. That new M5 with twin turbos, an 8000+rpm ceiling and a valvetronic valve train is one snazzy piece of kit.

  • avatar
    jkk6

    Although there is potential for market volume to BMW, I can only see Hyundai wanting a BMW engine to add it to their Genesis(Toyota/Lexus as originally planned) line up differentiating/upgrading Hyundai over Kia. Kia, a separate corporate identity, has chewed up the home market becoming Hyundai’s direct competitor.

    I read in a narrative that East Asian companies have a firm belief, that they must be dominant in their home market to be successful elsewhere. But Sean Connery in Rising Sun has more knowledge in Korean culture than me and whoever wrote that book, so this is just an opinion.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    Hey, stands to reason: Motorenwerke.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India