Once upon a time, you could look at the back of a trunk lid of a BMW and come up with a pretty fair idea of what sat under its hood. For example, a 320i was a 3 Series with a fuel-injected, 2.0-liter engine, a 328i was a 3 Series with a fuel-injected, 2.8-liter engine and a 328Ci was a two-door 3 Series with the same engine. Those were good days.
When BMW switched its entry level 3 Series, the 328i, from a naturally aspirated, 3.0-liter six-cylinder to a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, we weren't entirely sure what to think. Sure, from a pure numbers perspective, the new 2.0-liter cooked the old 3.0's goose, delivering more torque at far more accessible engine speeds while boosting horsepower and fuel economy.
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