The MINI Cooper Hydrogen uses a new injection process in which super-cooled hydrogen liquid is injected into the intake valves where it mixes with air before being injected into the cylinders for ignition.
Previously, liquid hydrogen was heated to ambient temperature before combustion.
The advantage of the new system is an increase in cylinder charge, boosting engine output and efficiency - raising the prospect of a hydrogen car that can match a petrol engine.
Company car drivers will enjoy shorter order lead times for the new MINI as BMW offers weekend jobs to 500 people to help meet demand for the new MINI.
BMW board member Professor Werner Saeman said: 'We will build 30,000 examples of the car this year but this may not be enough to satisfy demand.
'Even before we launched it across European markets this week, we were already holding more than 8,000 orders from customers in Britain and Ireland.
'We believe this novel approach will help us boost output in advance of the car's launch in Japan and the US next spring.'