The idea of a four-cylinder BMW was tossed around earlier this year, but it now appears as if those four-bangers will be running on diesel fuel. Tom Baloga, vice president of engineering for BMW of North America, confirmed a turbo-diesel I-4 will make it way into the North American lineup in the near future.
BMW already sells loads of diesels in Europe, but only recently brought its turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel to the U.S. With the upcoming change in CAFE fuel economy standards, BMW sees the addition of a four-cylinder diesel as key to meeting those strict rules. Although it will be a fuel miser, BMW says the 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine it’s developing for this market will be tuned for performance.
“This engine needs to match the acoustic qualities of a six-cylinder, and it need to match the performance, as well as performing better in terms of fuel economy and emissions,” said Baloga. “Our four-cylinder diesel will be so good that people will readily accept it as a replacement for six-cylinders. The target is to produce enough horsepower to be comparable [in performance] to our N54/N55 [328i /335i engines] six-cylinder turbos.”
This means that BMW is aiming to get in excess of 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque from a small 2.0-liter diesel engine. For comparison, BMW’s 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel mill puts out 265 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque.
When the engine makes its way over here, it will initially be offered in the 3-series and X3. Baloga said there is a strong possibility of it appearing in the 5-series. If it’s accepted in the X3, it will migrate to the X5 as well.
Source: Inside Line