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Are you ready for an onslaught of compact cars from the German duo of BMW and Mercedes-Benz? Hopefully, yes, since no fewer than six new compacts from the German pair are headed our way by the end of 2012. BMW will introduce a front-wheel-drive family of cars from its UKL segment (a German abbreviation for lower-compact class vehicles). The vehicles will initially be offered with four-cylinder engines and reports suggests that at least three body variations will be headed this way.

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Lending further credence to rumors that BMW will be launching a new engine line that will feature three and four cylinders and comparatively small displacements is a report from Channel 4 in the UK that quotes BMW chief engineer Holger Winkelmann as saying the German automaker will soon launch the "most advanced small engine range ever."

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According to a report on Sky Motoring in the UK, BMW is working on a new range of 3- and 4-cylinder engines for use in its next-gen 1 Series, 3 Series and Z2 Roadster. If there is indeed an inline-three engine in the pipeline, we'd be shocked to see it installed in BMW's bread-and-butter 3 Series, but it may be plausible for the entry-level 1 Series.

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BMW's North American CEO, Jim O'Donnel has ended the rumors of a new BMW four-cylinder engine option. It's true. And it sounds great. Not only will the new turbocharged engine outperform the current inline-six, it will get better fuel mileage and produce fewer emissions. Perfect! When is it coming? Could be soon for Europe. The United States, though, reportedly won't learn its fate until the upcoming Presidential election is complete. Um, sorry... what?

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