Recently, we reported on the Mercedes-Benz plan to go from six cylinders to four cylinders and it appears to be catching. BMW released a statement this month saying that the company will bring the first four-cylinder turbocharged engine to the U.S. later this year. The question that remains is which vehicle will get it.
Before we begin to speculate, the four-cylinder we are talking about is the 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder with high-pressure direct-injection. The first car we saw this engine in was the BMW X1 compact crossover—a car that we expect Mercedes-Benz to compete with in the near future. Common opinion is that the 2.0-liter four-cylinder will eventually replace the renowned 3.0-liter naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder.
So what vehicles will get the new four-cylinder? Currently, the naturally aspirated inline six can be found in the 128i, 328i, 528i, X3 and Z4. It would be easy to say that all of these will see the new four-cylinder twin-scroll turbo engine. That is probably going to be true over time, however, the most likely candidates are going to be the Z4 and 5-Series since they have already been confirmed for production with the new engine in Europe. It makes sense since the twin turbo setup produces similar power at lower RPMs, reduces the vehicle weight, returns better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
Keep your eyes peeled for the announcements from BMW, as they are probably going to happen early this year. We are already bracing for BMW aficionados being upset by the potential retirement of the iconic inline six-cylinder.