With new CAFE regulations looming on the horizon, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are considering bringing four-cylinder models back to the States. BMW's development of new four-pots have been widely reported over the last year, with the automaker confirming work on a direct injected, twin-turbocharged four, likely to be fitted on the next generation 1 and 3 series, due to arrive in 2012. The new mill is also slated to be equipped on the X1 and X3, and according to the automaker, the powerplants will deliver the same output as the current in-line sixes, but with better fuel economy and lower emissions. However, the development of an all-new engine is expensive, and BMW will pass along the cost to consumers, despite BMW's claim that buyers aren't willing to pay for advanced technology.

As for Mercedes-Benz, aside from the 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel that debuted on the E250 Bluetech concept, little is known about the automaker's plans for four-bangers in the States. Although the concept, unveiled at the New York Auto Show, was equipped to an E-Class, don't expect a gasoline-powered four to be fitted on a future E – the new engine will likely find a home in the C-Class and GLK CUV sometime in the next few years.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]