In 1997, Chrysler Corporation and Rover Group (then a subsidiary of BMW) formed Tritec, a joint venture to design a new small straight-4 engine for small cars. They built a factory in Curitiba, Brazil to manufacture the engine. When BMW sold Rover Group, BMW retained the stake in Tritec.
The common MINI engine name has two meanings: It refers to the small size of the engine and the cars it would power, and also to the most notable of those cars, the MINI . It is also called the Pentagon engine. Production began in September 1999.
It is a modern engine with an SOHC 16-valve head, electronic throttle control, and meets Euro III emissions requirements. There are three current versions of the engine, 1.4 L, 1.6 L, and supercharged 1.6 L.
BMW have replaced this engine in the MINI with the new Prince engine family developed in partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroën, since Chrysler was a part of their arch-rival DaimlerChrysler. BMW's contract with Tritec expired in 2007.
In February 2006, the Chinese auto company Lifan bid to purchase the factory after 2007, when the current Tritec engine is no longer needed by BMW and Chrysler. Lifan's plan calls for moving factory tooling to China where it would produce a derivative of the Tritec engine by 2008. These engines would then be used by Lifan to begin an automobile export business to Europe and North America.
In March 2008 Fiat Powertrain Technologies announced it will buy the plant and licenses to produce Tritec engines. This investment is around 83 million euros.
The 1.4 L (1397 cc) version uses a 77 mm (3 in) bore and 75 mm (3 in) stroke. Like all Tritecs, it is an SOHC 16-valve aluminium engine with multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection. Output is rated at 55 kW (75 PS; 74 hp) and 122 N·m (90 lb·ft). This engine was used in the Portuguese and Greek version of the Mini One.
- MINI One (Portugal, Greece) (until 2008)
The 1.6 L (1598 cc) version uses the same 77 mm (3 in) bore with a longer 85.8 mm stroke. Output is rated at 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp) and 140 N·m (103 lb·ft) in the Mini One, and 85 kW (116 PS; 114 hp) and 149 N·m (110 lb·ft) in the Mini Cooper.
- MINI One and Cooper (until 2008).
- Chrysler PT Cruiser (in non-US markets)
- Chery Flagcloud and Windcloud.
- Lifan 520
The 1.6 SC uses a Roots-type Eaton M45 supercharger with intercooler. The compression ratio is reduced from 10.5:1 to 8.3:1. Output was initially rated at 120 kW (163 PS; 161 hp) and 210 N·m (155 lb·ft) but has since been increased to 125 kW (170 PS; 168 hp) and 220 N·m (162 lb·ft). The 1.6 SC won the "1.4 L to 1.8 L" category at the International Engine of the Year awards for 2003. It also won Ward's 10 Best Engines award for 2003.
- MINI Cooper S
- "13.03.2008 Fiat Powertrain Technologies buys CHRYSLER'S BRAZILIAN ENGINE UNIT". italiaspeed.com. http://www.italiaspeed.com/2008/cars/industry/03/tritec_brazil/1303.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-13.