BMW Reintroduces Four-Cylinder to U.S.

BMW X1 xDrive28i with I-4

Automakers, it seems, are beginning to forsake performance over added efficiency. The most recent example is BMW, which announced the return of its first four-cylinder powertrain since 1997. This one, however, sounds promising.

The new inline-four-cylinder will combine twin-scroll turbocharging, direct injection and BMW’s proprietary variable valve timing system known as Valvetronic. The 2.0-liter motor will produce 240 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque in U.S. variants. That’s more power than BMW’s normally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder, which is found on the current 3 Series, and the 2.0-liter turbo from Audi, which puts out 211 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque.

While BMW won’t comment on which vehicles will get the engine, we’ll take a wild guess and say the 1 and 3 Series are prime candidates along with the small X1 when it debuts in the U.S. BMW’s move is probably in response to Mercedes-Benz’s recently introduced 201-hp four-cylinder found in the 2012 SLK roadster and C-Class.

Audi’s A4 has consistently offered a four-cylinder option since 1997. The BMW engine will arrive in select models later in 2011.

By Colin Bird | January 31, 2011 | Comments (5)



The hp and torque numbers might even be understated. My MINI JCW is a claimed 208hp but dyno tests suggest it is more like 230-240hp.

The 2.0L engine could also power a MINI model in the future who knows...


No, the bore spacing is too large for the Mini.
and it was/is designed to be longitudinally installed.


Yes!!! I can't wait! I drove a 320i in Austria last year and the engine was phenomenal. This will definitely bring back the fun to BMWs and also lower the price of the 3-series to hopefully a little under $30k. That would be amazing, not to mention the gas mileage.


You're dreaming. Changing the number of cylinders in BMWs means a price change only when that number is going up. For instance, the six cylinder BMW 5 series has a base price of $45K before options. Go up two cylinders to the 550i and the base price goes up $15K to a cool $60,000. Because BMW has had problems with its turbo six cylinders which has involved numerous consumer complaints and an official recall, they're going back to four cylinder mills. But do you think they'll reduce their price in the same proportion that they increase it for a bigger motor? Not a chance. It won't be long before they'll be asking $40K for a four cylinder one series, and the sad part is there will be suckers willing to pay that just to get that BMW badge in their garage.

Uk Diesel Driver

@MiniMike; The engine in the Mini is a joint development with PSA (Peugeot/Citroen) because BMW could not use its own engines in the Mini.

The Mini engine will also never be used in a BMW as it is designed to be mounted transverse (FWD) and not longitudenal (RWD).

It works well in bigger cars though, as the various Peugeot / Citroen models prove. Something nearly the size & weight of a BMW 5 or a minivan-ish vehicle like the Mazda 5 can be had with this engine for a while now.

Try Googling for Peugeot 508 / Citroen C5 / Citroen C4 Grand Picasso. They all have the same engine as your mini (although slightly detuned...).

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