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]