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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.
BMW has just announced a new turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplant that will first appear in the BMW X1. Replacing the current 3.0-liter straight-six overseas, it will be found under the hood when the X1 hits dealers in North America.
The new TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine displaces just 2.0-liter but makes 245-hp at 5000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at just 1250 rpm. To achieve this result the engine uses BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve control system, as well as a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct-injection.
Compared to the old 3.0-liter straight-six, the turbo-four makes 13 fewer horsepower, but 30 more ft-lbs of torque. BMW claims an improvement of 0.7 seconds to 62 mph with the manual and 0.3 seconds with the automatic, resulting in a very impressive 6.1 second (or 6.5 second) 0-62 mph time.
Along with improved performance, the TwinPower Turbo 4-banger also gets improved fuel economy, with BMW claiming a 4.8-mpg improvement to 29.8-mpg. (On the European test cycle).
Set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March, the N20 engine is likely to find it’s way under the hood of numerous new Bimmers, including the 3 Series, X3, Z4 and even the 5 Series.
Get AutoGuide’s 2011 Geneva Auto Show preview here.
GALLERY: BMW X1 xDrive28i
Official release after the jump: