BMW has always been known for their trademark inline-6 engines, but the recent industry-wide trend of downsizing has led to BMW adopting turbocharged four-cylinder engines as an alternative to smaller, naturally aspirated I6 engines in the name of efficiency.
First to get the turbo-4 treatment is the X1 small crossover, although Jim O’Donnell, head of BMW USA, said that more are on their way. Likely candidates for this engine are the 3-Series and Z4, whose rivals, like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, SLK and Audi A4 and A5 already offer a turbo 4-cylinder as the base engine. The X3 could also be a candidate, as Audi’s Q5 shares the same 2.0T engine and doesn’t seem to fare any worse than its 6-cylinder siblings.
Expect an announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. With the X1 hitting 60 mph in about 6 seconds while returning a smidge under 30 mpg on the European highway cycle, we’re pretty optimistic that these new BMW four-bangers will be just fine.