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Old 07-21-2009, 03:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Report: BMW Looking to Bring Back 4-Cylinder Engines to the U.S.


BMW is looking at bringing back for-cylinder engines to the U.S. in order to meet tough new fuel-economy regulations. BMW's engineering boss, Tom Baloga, told Bloomberg that the smaller and more fuel-efficient engines were likely needed in order to meet the Obama Administration's 2016 CAFE regulations, which call for a new fleet average of 35.5 mpg - up from 27.3 mpg for 2011.

Last year BMW's fleet-wide average was 26.5 mpg.

Currently BMW sells the 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series and X3 with four-cylinder engines overseas, where fuel-efficient diesel options are also popular. In fact, Baloga says that due to the high volume of diesel sales in Europe, the automaker's current European fleet average would already meet the 2016 CAFE regulations.

BMW currently offers a high-performance 3 Series diesel, the 335d, in the U.S., but Baloga says BMW will not rely on diesels to offset less fuel-efficient models as demand for diesels in the U.S. isn't high enough to make a difference.

The real issue in bringing over four-cylinder engines, says Baloga, is keeping the focus on performance. That being said, the four-cylinder models are likely to either be turbocharged or used in significantly lighter models.

BMW is also looking at growing its offering of 1 Series models in the U.S., with numerous new models planned. The higher sales volumes of the more efficient engines will also help to increase BMW's fuel-efficiency fleet average.

More: Report: BMW Looking to Bring Back 4-Cylinder Engines to the U.S. on AutoGuide.com
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think that's a really smart move on BMW's part. Personally, I would like to see BMW operate in the North American market like they do in Europe.
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sharkey - I always love your optimism my friend! However, I am compelled to say that super light, 4-cylinder Bimmers in the US, or anywhere else for that matter, feels to me like our elite brand slipping down to the mainstream. There have already been enough of our models that have been likened to Hondas, Camry's etc. I personally love the heavy steel doors in a Bimmer - the mighty six or eights humming under the hood promising driving delights. THIS IS MAGIC for me. I understand there will still be many higher end models that remain, but it saddens me that they are "diluting" our beloved brand and draging it down to all the other brands. BMW IS PERFORMANCE. At least they still focus on that. Saturating the US market with a million 4-cylinder 1 series showing up everywhere. I hope they handle it right. Having a Bimmer should be special!
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If the 4 bangers are built better than the old M40/44's and they are used in the right application it should be just fine. I don't think many people will buy the 4 bangers unless they are turboed but if BMW needs to make the option available to make their numbers look better than I guess it's all for the best.

Once again, it's disappointing to see that the federal government is focusing on the wrong things. Fuel efficient cars are great, but the problem with pollution lies in the fact that traffic jams are plentiful because of crowded roads and mass transportation is in need of a serious overhaul. When people spend 2+ hours in a traffic jam it is time for a solution that works. Idling for that long is not "fuel efficient".
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RoadsterMadness View Post
Sharkey - I always love your optimism my friend! However, I am compelled to say that super light, 4-cylinder Bimmers in the US, or anywhere else for that matter, feels to me like our elite brand slipping down to the mainstream. There have already been enough of our models that have been likened to Hondas, Camry's etc. I personally love the heavy steel doors in a Bimmer - the mighty six or eights humming under the hood promising driving delights. THIS IS MAGIC for me. I understand there will still be many higher end models that remain, but it saddens me that they are "diluting" our beloved brand and draging it down to all the other brands. BMW IS PERFORMANCE. At least they still focus on that. Saturating the US market with a million 4-cylinder 1 series showing up everywhere. I hope they handle it right. Having a Bimmer should be special!
I couldn't disagree more. BMW has a great history of 4-bangers and the U.S. consumer should start becoming educated and learn that bigger doesn't mean better. With the advancements in technology that we have, I find it ludicrous that car makers spend money and resources in horsepower wars.

I don't know if you have any affiliations to BMW other than owning their products. I certainly don't own any stock there nor I am related to any of the founding members of the company. Nothing about these cars is magic, beloved, nor special to me. I certainly do not consider BMW "my" brand.

I for one would like to see more quality-built, built-for-the-twisties 4-bangers make it stateside. Why should the rest of the world get them, but not us? I think Audi is the only luxury company currently selling a (very competent) 4-cyl in the U.S. market.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I guess we all can look forward..to getting pointers or ideas from the asian (HONDA CIVIC)...vehicles if this happens... I like my inline 6 ...why the F. U .N. K. would i want to pimp a 4 banger...been there done that.
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