NGK Iridium spark plugs selected for new BMW four cylinder turbo-charged engine
NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd has been selected to supply the spark plugs for BMW’s new generation, N20 four-cylinder turbo-charged engine.
Its Iridium plugs will be used in a host of many popular BMW models, including the 320i, 520i, 528i, X1 xDrive 20i, X3 x/sDrive 20i and Z4 sDrive 20i.
They will feature in the vehicle manufacturer’s new N20 engine which replaces the N52 six-cylinder model.
Brian Childs, Deputy Managing Director, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “The new contract is the latest in a long line of original equipment successes we have enjoyed with some of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers.
“BMW is renowned for the quality of its vehicles with tens of thousands being driven on the UK’s roads and it is testament to the excellence of NGK’s products that the company has decided to choose us to spark their new four-cylinder turbo-charged engine.”
The N20 engine is 15 kilograms lighter than the N52 – thanks to the absence of two cylinders and the use of aluminium for the engine block and the cylinder head with the low weight resulting in a significant reduction in fuel consumption.
However, to guarantee high performance – the 2.0-litre engine is available in versions delivering 184HP to 245HP – the N20 works with variable camshaft control, Twin-Scroll turbo charger and petrol direct injection referred to as High-Precision-Injection (HPI).
The spark plug for this engine faces special challenges; the maximum injection pressure is 200bar. To continuously safeguard reliable ignition, NGK developed the SILZKBR8C8S, a slim M12 bi-hex Iridium spark plug that is characterised by its long-reaching thread and advanced spark position with its electrodes reaching far into the combustion chamber.
The centre electrode features a laser-welded tip of Iridium with a diameter of just 0.7mm. It requires a lower ignition voltage and ensures that there is always enough ignitable air-fuel mixture getting close to the spark. In addition, its special shape guarantees an optimal spread of the flame front inside the combustion chamber.
Furthermore, the ground electrode comes with a welded platinum chip. As a result of these features, the spark plug provides outstanding ignition reliability even under the extremely challenging operation conditions of the N20 – and keeps doing so over a long period of time, as iridium and platinum are exceptionally robust electrode materials and the electrode gap remains virtually unchanged over the entire service life.