Forget hybrids and EVs, at least in the short term anyway. Improving fuel economy without losing power or adding cost is a job best suited to the turbocharger.
That, at least, is the thinking over at BMW, where the company plans that every new 4-cylinder engine it rolls out will be turbocharged in some form. And thanks to turbocharging, BMW will look to replace current inline six-cylinder engines (something it’s become famous for) with turbocharged 4-bangers.
The automaker’s fist step in this direction will come with the introduction of the X1 xDrive28i model (above) at the Geneva Auto Show, which will replace the current 3.0-liter straight-six with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that uses BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve control system, as well as a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct-injection.
At 245-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque it’s down 13-hp on the old engine but up 30 more lb-ft and BMW claims a 0.7 second improvement to 62-mph, plus a 4.8-mpg gain.
One of the most advanced versions of the engine, look for this powerplant to roll out and replace all of the naturally aspirated straight-six engines in the near future, including in the next generation 3 Series.