• Sep 12, 2008
Click above for high-res photo gallery of the BMW Concept 1 Series tii

Rumors of a new four cylinder engine from BMW have been confirmed by BMW's North American leader Jim O'Donnell. Questions on whether it will be offered in the United States, though, are still very much in the air. "We can't really confirm or deny when it is going to come into the US, or if it is going to come into the US, until after the election and the government makes it clear what is going to be the platform that manufacturers have got to work to," says O'Donnell. It really seems so simple to us. If an automaker has a new engine that offers both good performance and good fuel economy, it should be offered in the U.S. market.

Granted, the last effort to sell four-cylinder Bimmers in the States didn't go over so well. But BMW's reputation was earned first by cars like the 2002, which was motivated by a sprightly little four-banger. Considering the fact that BMW owns the MINI brand, the automaker should know better than anyone else that Americans are now willing to spend a good deal of money on small cars with small engines. We'll gladly support a revival of the tii badge on a lightweight 1 Series platform powered by a nice turbo four.


[Source: BimmerFile]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      It will never happen. The US Spec 1 series is way to heavy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        lets not be ignorant here...

        acura uses a 4 cylinder turbo to make a 4000 lb, 5 speed SUV to hit the 1/4 mile in 15 seconds flat. And you for some reason dont think BMW could use a turbo 4 pot to motivate a 3200 lb 6 speed close ratio 1 series to times any better? If you're still thinking no, you're crazy
        • 6 Years Ago
        Never say never my BMW compadre....

      • 6 Years Ago
      Mc Donnell or whatever his name is has not common sense. Regardless of whose president, the car should be more fuel efficient, thus bringing operation costs down. This will also help BMW widen the gap between the 4 and 6 cylinder engine. It might be a BMW but nobody wants to pay that much for an entry level car to start with.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can anyone see a baby 6-series coming besides me? Making a smaller powerful turbo 4 model in he 240+hp realm seems to be what a lot of people are asking for, but will they use this in a 1-series which is nothing more than a small 3-series coupe or make a real low profile sport coupe as the 2-series? This would cause confusion for most as usual, but BMW seems to be covering every angle possible as a stand alone brand. If they start to fall into the everyman category though they stand to gain a bigger share of the market since everyone dreams of having a luxury car in their garage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I bet they stick it in some raised SUV/SAV/CAV POS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is already confirmed that the next iteration of 116i or 118i will switch to a derivative of the Prince engine currently used in the Mini Cooper. I assume that the 116i will use the naturally aspirated 122hp version -- just because it is cheaper than the current 1.6l BMW engine. The 118i might use the turbocharged 150hp version. This torquey little thing should also appeal to US drivers.

      Since the turbocharged Prince is relatively economic on fuel and provides good torque it might make sense to put the 175hp Prince into the 120i, but I doubt this will happen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Granted, the last effort to sell four-cylinder Bimmers in the States didn't go over so well."

      It would be interesting to see the U.S. sales figures broken down by engine type if you have them. Judging from what I still see out on the streets, it seems like they sold a lot of 4-cylinder versions of the E36 (318i/is/ic and Z3). The 318ti may not have been viewed as a success in the U.S., but that's usually attributed to the U.S. being hatchbackphobic rather than the car having a 4-cylinder engine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah. Why do people always point at the 318ti? There were myriad 318, 320 and Z3s sold in the US over a period of over 10 years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree.

        That makes more sense than any knock on the cylinder count. The E21 320i of the late 70s/early 80s was pretty successful. Then the E30 M3 was snapped up pretty rapidly by enthusiasts. BMW just needs to make sure its pared to a desirable body style for American tastes... like a coupe, convertible and sedan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yeah...I'm sure BMW has a platoon of bean counters figuring out if federalizing it and selling it here is worth it.

      A really great I4 is a thing of legend...like the e30M3's S14, the ITR's B18 series, Mitsu and Subaru''s turbos, etc.

      Yet Another Economy Engine I4 (of which the Z3 / is / ti's M42 does indeed qualify) isn't going to turn any heads and really only makes sense in an economy car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Best news of the day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Even with the ra(i)cer bodykit and trim, the 1-series looks ugly
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