It's hard to not to mention the name BMW and not think about
the company's buttery smooth inline-6 engines. With the exception of the
current generation M3, 3-Series models in the U.S. for over a decade have been
powered solely by inline-6 engines. And most recently, BMW has added turbos to
its inline-6 to boost power and efficiency.
BMW is now looking to make another leap in fuel efficiency,
and it means that the company's normally aspirated inline-6 could get the
axe in favor of a new
2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-4 engine. The new engine produces 240hp @ 5,000 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at just 1,250 rpm.
For comparison, the 3.0-liter inline-6 produces 230hp at
6,500 rpm and a meager 200 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm when used in the 328i.
The new engine uses the same technology found in the
turbocharged version of the inline-6 (N55) meaning that a twin-scroll
turbocharger, direct injection, and VALVETRONIC intake control are onboard. In
addition, the new turbo four is not only lighter than the naturally aspirated
inline-6, but it is also more compact.
BMW has not released official fuel economy numbers for the
new engine yet, but it will no doubt offer better ratings than the current
naturally aspirated inline-6.
Expect all of BMW's models that use the naturally aspirated
3.0-liter inline-6 (1-Series, 3-Series, X3, X1, Z4, etc.) to switch over to the