As reported on E90post Homepage
According to BMW U.S. chief Jim O'Donnell, from the 2009 Frankfurt Motorshow which is currently taking place, BMW has approved plans to finally bring a 4-cylinder 3-series to the U.S. BMW lineup. Expect the engines to be equipped with BMW's next generation twin turbos as he also stated that this (pairing twin turbos with the 4-cylinder engines) "is the goal and we will do it."
The decision to finally introduce a 4-cylinder version of the 3er into the U.S. is part of BMW's plans to meet tougher U.S. fuel economy and emissions standards for the next few years -- all auto manufacturers are required raise the gas economy of their entire lineup by 5% a year until year 2016, when a national 35.5mpg standard will be imposed (fleet wide).
The 4-cylinder version 3-series is expected to first be available for sale beginning in the spring of 2012 and will be equipped on the next generation 3-series (F30). Don't count out BMW using the same 4-cylinder engines in future X1 and X3's as well, as those cars currently share engines with the 3-series.
FRANKFURT — BMW plans to offer four-cylinder gasoline engines in the United States in an effort to meet stricter fuel economy rules. Introduction of the powerplants, equipped with the automaker’s next-generation twin turbochargers, “is the goal and we will do it,” Jim O’Donnell, CEO of BMW of North America, said today on the sidelines of the Frankfurt auto show. O’Donnell said the engines will allow the automaker to reach U.S. targets before 2015. Under federal guidelines proposed today, automakers will have to improve the fuel economy of their fleets by 5 percent annually before a national standard of 35.5 mpg takes effect in the 2016 model year. BMW will add a four-cylinder variant for its next 3 series in the United States by spring 2012, O’Donnell said. The automaker already equips its European 3 series with four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. BMW also is considering adding four-cylinder gasoline engines to its X1 and X3 crossovers and 1-series model in the United States. In Europe, the X1 will be available with a four-cylinder, twin-turbo diesel engine when it launches this fall. The X3 and 1 series also are offered with four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines in Europe. “We see potentially a significant market that could get to 100,000 four-cylinder engines” in the United States, O’Donnell said.