The next 1- and 3-Series cars from BMW, as well as the Z2 roadster, are rumored to be getting a new range of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder gasoline engines as part of BMW's push to cut emissions and fuel consumption. Of the five powerplants reportedly in development, three are 1.35-liter three-cylinder motors developing between 163 hp and 241 hp, with the two 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engines putting out 273 hp and 321 hp, respectively. Sky Motoring says that the four-pots will be reserved for "more upmarket models."

While a 3-Series with a 3-cylinder engine has a certain poetry, it does give one pause. If Sky Motoring's numbers are correct, however, the top end 1.35-liter motor would put out 11 more horsepower than the current 3.0-liter in the 328i. That's a lot of power for such little displacement, and with brand perception issues in the U.S., who knows if we would even get the engines – after all, we don't get any of Mercedes' CGI mills. From where we sit, though, the smaller, lighter engine with its commensurately fewer moving parts could also help bring the sticker price of the 1-Series down – one of the major factors that has prevented it from gaining traction in stateside showrooms.

In any case, the new BMW engines are said to be at least two years away, so we look forward to getting more clarifying information in the meantime. Hat tip to Owen!

[Source: Sky Motoring]