BMW, facing higher fuel-efficiency requirements under the Obama administration, is bringing four-cylinder engines back to the United States.
The automaker said the most targeted car is the upcoming 3 series, which according to one source half of the 3-Series models sold in the United States will be 4-cylinders and eventually up to 40 percent of all BMW’s U.S. sales will be four-pots.
Back in 1999, when gasoline was at $1.14 a gallon, the Munich based automaker dropped the engine from its 3- Series line, because like Jim O’Donnell, head of BMW’s U.S. said it didn’t had the performance of the six cylinder.
Times and technology have evolved and the new 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-Cylinder will be the first engine that will power the Z4 sDrive28i that will arrive in BMW Centers in October. With 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, it offers more power and torque than BMW’s normally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6 that it replaces in the Z4 sDrive30i.
BMW saw its sales increase for the year with a 12 per cent rise through August to 155,929. Deliveries of Stuttgart, Germany-based Mercedes vehicles were down 6.1 per cent at 148,409 in the US while Lexus’s sales fell 17 per cent to 120,652.
While consumers have been demanding more efficient vehicles as gasoline prices approached $4 a gallon this year, it isn’t clear that fuel prices will remain high enough to keep demand in line with rising fuel-economy standards.