At last week’s Paris Auto Show, BMW unveiled the Concept Active Tourer, a compact plug-in hybrid wagon powered by a combination of battery power and a 3-cylinder gasoline engine.
At the moment, BMW’s new 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder engine, designed in part for use in its upcoming i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, isn’t found in any production vehicles.
Soon, that will change, says BMW board member Ian Robertson.
In fact, as he told Automotive News (subscription required), BMW’s 3-cylinder engine will soon be used for the Mini brand.
As we previously speculated, the new 3-cylinder engine will most likely make its debut in the all-new next-generation Mini, due to be unveiled in Frankfurt next year, but not expected on dealer lots until 2015.
According to Robertson, using 3-cylinder engines has some significant advantages beyond the obvious improvements in gas mileage.
“It behaves like a six-cylinder, it is half of a six-cylinder engine and has the noise of a six-cylinder,” he said. “The output from a relatively small engine is not what you would have imagined.”
But are U.S. consumers ready for 3-cylinder engines?
And would you buy a Mini with a 3-cylinder engine instead of a 4-cylinder one?
Let us know in the Comments below.