With C02 emissions regulations getting stricter than ever, BMW of North America has decided to introduce compact four-cylinder engines to its next-generation 3 Series models. In Europe and other parts of the world BMW already gives consumers the choice of four-cylinder petrol and diesel motors.
The Federal government has proposed that automakers improve their fleets' fuel economy by 5% per year for the next 5 to 6 years. Thereafter a national standard of 35.5 mpg takes effect. According to Jim O'Donnell, CEO of BMW of North America, the measures taken will help the company reach these targets before 2015.
The next-generation four-pot twin turbo engines have long been rumoured and will reach the US by 2012, powering the upcoming 3 Series. O'Donnell's team is also investigating the possibility of adding four-cylinder petrol power for the 1 Series, X1 and X3 models.
"We see potentially a significant market that could get to 100,000 four-cylinder engines in the United States," O'Donnell said.