It's no secret that BMW, like many other automakers, is working on smaller three-cylinder engines for its future products in order to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Some of those engines will go into the next generation of Mini products. Mini's goal is to provide a significant improvement in fuel economy without sacrificing performance.
The next generation of BMW's 5-series sedan is expected to debut early in 2010, perhaps at the Geneva Motor Show. The new M5, however, likely won't be launched until the 2011 Frankfurt show. According to Albert Biermann, development boss of the M division, when it does arrive, it will cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent compared to the current model.
Hybrid and battery electric cars get most of the attention from drivers looking for more efficient transportation. Toyota has done a masterful job of marketing the benefits of hybrids and, for a great many people, hybrids are an excellent means of saving on fuel and reducing emissions (not everyone, though). The trouble is that hybrid systems add hardware, cost and a lot of complexity, especially for the control systems.
Turbocharging is likely to be all the range in the next few years as automakers try to improve the mileage of high volume vehicles with downsized engines. Ford has already announced big plans for its EcoBoost engines starting with the 3.5L V6 that launches next spring. Across town at GM, the upcoming Chevy Cruze will get a new 1.4L turbocharged and direct injected engine. Ford will buying turbos from Honeywell for the EcoBoost engines and the supplier is apparently also talking to GM about a sup