TURIN – BMW will add a 1.0L 2-cyl. engine to its upcoming range of new modular diesel and gasoline-powered internal combustion engines.

The German automaker is preparing to unveil new 3-cyl., 4-cyl. and 6-cyl. powerplants. The lineup is expected to range in size from 0.8L to 3.0L, with maximum power matching what is now available in bigger, heavier V-8 engines.

Sources tell WardsAuto one of the earliest applications of the 2-cyl. engine under development is for the next-generation Mini Hybrid, expected in 2015. The small mill eventually may migrate to other BMW Group hybrids.

Many of the inconveniences and costs of hard-to-balance 2-cyl. engines are manageable when ICE powerplants are mated to electric motors. This explains why BMW is engineering its new modular 2-cyl. primarily for hybrid applications, and has no current plans to employ it for conventional power.

BMW already offers a 2-cyl. gasoline engine in the all-new BMW i3 with the range-extender option that uses a 0.65L mill making 34 hp to generate electricity that maintains the lithium-ion battery above a 20% charge level and powers the electric motor as determined by the EV’s energy-management electronics.

Sources say other automakers, including General Motors, are developing similar projects.