Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC – Click above for high-res image gallery

Premium German automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz are working on new four-cylinder engines for the U.S. market. The last time BMW offered an engine with fewer than six cylinders was back in 1999. Mercedes-Benz put a supercharged four-cylinder engine in the C230 and SLK230 back in 2005, but dropped those engines in favor of a range of naturally aspirated V6 powerplants.

In case you're wondering... yes, we've heard about this before. Late last year, BMW confirmed it was working on a new direct-injected and turbocharged four-cylinder engine that would make more power, get better fuel mileage and have lower emissions than its naturally aspirated six-cylinder sibling. All of that sounds great, but BMW's Jim O'Donnell says the automaker hasn't yet officially decided to bring the new four-cylinder to America. The final decision won't be made until future CAFE requirements are laid out.

Mercedes-Benz showed off a very nice 2.2L four-cylinder diesel engine in the E250 Bluetec concept from the New York Auto Show, and that engine may make an appearance in the automaker's C-Class or GLK compact SUV.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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