The 2012 BMW 528i will be up to 15 percent more fuel-efficient than the 2011 model, because it switches from a 3.0-liter inline-six engine to a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. BMW says the new engine makes the 528i accelerate more quickly, in addition to drinking less fuel.
The 2012 528i dispatches with the inline-six engine in favor of BMW’s newest turbo engine. With a single, twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection, the inline-four produces 240 hp at 5000 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque at 1250 rpm. That represents an increase of 30 lb-ft of torque compared to the old engine, and both peak torque and peak horsepower are now available at lower engine speeds.
As with the outgoing engine, the new turbocharged four is mated to BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission in this application. BMW says the 2012 528i will complete the 0-to-60-mph run in 6.2 seconds, 0.4 seconds quicker than the 2011 car. It can be equipped with either rear- or all-wheel drive -- a plus, considering AWD was previously unavailable on the 2011 528i.
The big news, however, is the fuel economy gains promised by the engine swap. BMW expects a 15-percent improvement in fuel efficiency, although EPA testing has yet to be completed. The current 528i is EPA-rated at 22/32 mpg (city/highway) in rear-wheel drive configuration.
Further helping reduce fuel consumption is the fact that the new engine is lighter and smaller than the outgoing inline-six. It has engine stop-start technology, and a special ECO PRO mode that adjusts engine, transmission, heating, and air conditioning settings to help maximize fuel economy.
The new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is also arriving in the Z4 sDrive28i roadster. In that car, it likewise provides an increase in power and torque while reducing emissions and fuel consumption. The 2012 BMW 528i goes on sale in the U.S. this fall. Pricing has not been announced for the new model year, but the 2011 528i starts from $45,425 (including an $875 destination charge.)