• Sep 4th 2008 at 11:58AM
  • 67
Four-cylinder BMWs are commonplace in Europe, but here in the States you can't buy anything Bavarian with less than six pistons. Inside Line is reporting that the German automaker may change that by adding the direct-injected 2.0L four-pot from Europe to the 3-Series. The 170-hp engine powers the 320i and 120i across the pond. The models are well-received there, and for good reason, too. The ultra-efficient powerplant averages over 38 mpg in the European combined test cycle while still providing the razor-sharp handling that is BMW's trademark.
BMW project director Oliver Friedmann said that a four-cylinder petrol Bimmer would have a "desirable effect" here in the U.S., but didn't commit any concrete plans for a U.S. four-banger. He did say that the U.S. probably isn't ready for a diesel four-cylinder, but we beg to differ. Our friends at AutoblogGreen had a blast in the twin-turbo 123d and managed 37 mpg while thoroughly testing the oil-burner's limits. We think the petrol 2.0L would be well received as well. While four-cylinder luxury cars were taboo just a few years ago, high fuel prices have given Americans plenty of motivation to welcome a 2.0L Bimmer with open arms.

[Source: Inside Line]


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  • 67 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      A turbo 4 would make sence. I bet they could squeeze 210-220hp out of it. If Audi can sell a 4 cyl A4, why can't BMW sell a 4 cyl 3 series.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh no, its battle of the "who's turbo I4 -is- best" !!! Just don't forget the 2.3L 265 hp motor in the MS3...

        In terms of flat-to-peaky power band, it goes something like...

        VAG 2.0T
        GM Ecotec 2.0
        Mazda 2.3
        Subaru 2.5
        Mitsu 2.0

        Its pretty much pick your flavor after that point. They're all great -- you just have to decide whether you like your thrills sooner or later.
        • 7 Years Ago
        MD Drew,

        If VW/Audi can get 261/268 hp out of their 2.0L turbo, i'm sure BMW can do at least close to that
        • 7 Years Ago
        If Subaru can get 250 hp out of their 2.5L turbo Boxer 4, I'm sure their Bavarian counterparts could do at least as well...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Heck, if GM can get 260hp from the 2.0L ecotec, and Mitsu can get 291hp out of the 2.0L 4b11t (and both will make significantly more with a few mods and the stock turbo), BMW can do it too....
        • 7 Years Ago
        "If Subaru can get 250 hp out of their 2.5L turbo Boxer 4, I'm sure their Bavarian counterparts could do at least as well..."

        The 2008 STI makes 305 hp...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Only interested in the 123d.
      • 7 Years Ago
      38 mpg? Is that in US gallons or Imperial gallons?

      If it is in fact imperial, then it would be 31.6 miles per US gallon.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the 1 series should have been 4 cylinders since their launch here in the US. they are too expensive as is
      and probably canabalize the 3 series sale. if not then
      for slight more $ you can get a larger 3 series. i suspect that they haven't moved for bmw. the 128 should be at least $5 grand cheaper and have 4 cylinders for better fuel economy. priced somewhere
      between a mini and a 320.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For all the 4 banger nay sayers, BMW could strap a turbo to it and call it a night.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I could see a 320i being about $30k.. that sounds resonable. Honestly though, I think it might be a little to late for the 3 to reach back to its origins. Unfortunately, maintaining brand image is still very important and most people buying the 3 aren't car nuts. I'm all for BMW making a 4 cylinder,fuel efficient back-to-basics thriller car that appeals to people who actually like cars, but I think that's what the 1-series is for. So they should bring over the 120i, or 120ti, see how that goes, and if it goes well then try it out on the next gen 3-series
      • 7 Years Ago
      4-cyl BMW. They made these before. People call them "poverty-edition".

      Hardly luxury.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Since when has the engine got anything to do with luxury.
        You can option a 316i/318i/320i the same as a 330i/335i/M3
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting. Some at Cadillac are against offering a 4-cylinder for the reasons BMW wants one. Then again, though, perhaps Cadillac just doesn't want another Cimarron (sp).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Cadillac still doesn't appeal to the young either though, at least not like BMW.
      Carlos
      • 7 Years Ago
      Four cylinders, low mass, good fuel economy!? There might be hope for BMW after all.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Look, it doesn't matter what BMW sticks into their cars, the magazines and fanboys will eat it up like it's the best thing ever and even if it goes 0-60 in 7+ seconds, they'll all tout it as "the best driving 4 cylinder ever." Who cares, bring in a two cycle, 2 cylinder mower engine and everyone will love it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        0-60 in 7.9 seconds is still quite fast. Nothing to be ashamed of there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      One of the other reasons why BMW would bring back 4-bangers to the US is the new CAFE laws. Like everyone else, BMW needs to get its overall mileage footprint up in this country and offering 4 cylinder cars in the 1 and 3 series range would go a long way towards that. Gone are the days where a 4 cylinder had to be a slouch of an engine. Modern engine management and a willing turbo can really get performance up without sacrificing too much economy (as stated earlier with the GM Ecotec).

      NVH are still a problem with 4-bangers, but I think that this can be dealt with too in many applications. And as for the oil burner version...who knows? We may see it yet.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My 2.0L makes 260 hp and 260 lb ft of torque. I'm getting above the EPA estimated highway fuel economy with 35 mpg highway and it will do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds...who am I?
        • 7 Years Ago
        If that's who you are, you also beat the Ferrari F430 in R&Ts slalom test.

        It's a great car. Likely GM will kill it by the end of 2009 because of the crushing economy.
        vpoort
        • 7 Years Ago
        Cobalt SS
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