BMW will offer fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine in the U.S. in 2011

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 29, 2011

BMW has confirmed that later this year, it will offer a four cylinder unit, which features twin-scroll turbocharging and high-pressure direct-injection, in the U.S. market. The last time that BMW had a four-cylinder engine available was nearly 11 years ago but the push for more fuel efficient models has prompted the carmaker to bring it back.

The engine is a 2.0l unit that can develop 240hp and 260 lb-ft of torque – which offers 30% more power than the normally aspirated 3.0l inline six.

And since this engine uses an all-aluminum crankcase, it weighs less and is more compact than a six-cylinder. The BMW VALVETRONIC system controls the combustion air mass inside the engine, which boosts the responsiveness of the vehicle.

So far, BMW has yet to make an official statement on which models will be equipped with this engine. It’s believed though that more than one of BMW's Series would have it, including the 1 Series, the 3 Series and the X1.

With the addition of the High Precision Injection direct-injection system, the efficiency of the vehicle is enhanced further. One reason for this is related to the solenoid injectors that are located in the middle of the valves. Allowing for a maximum injection pressure at 2,900 psi, or around 200 bar, the injectors are able to control how fuel is supplied.

In particular, the fuel is added as near as possible to the spark plug, giving it a combustion that is both consistent and clean. The injected fuel also has a cooling effect which results in a compression ratio value that is higher than what would have been possible. As such, it improves the vehicle’s efficiency even more.

For the 2012 528i, this new and hi-tech engine will be paired with the brand’s latest 8-speed automatic transmission. This enables the 2012 528i to go from 0 mph to 60 mph in merely 6.2 seconds, quicker by 0.4 seconds compared to the 2011 version.

Fuel efficiency is even better by as much as 8% with EPA fuel economy estimated at 23 mpg city, 32, mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined. Similar to the models in BMW’s 5 Series, the xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive in the 2012 528i was upgraded in order to fit with its character and performance.

With the BMW xDrive, impressive grip is guaranteed whatever the road conditions or weather may be. It even offers more than that in order to increase the level of active safety. While the 2012 BMW 528i will feature BMW EfficientDynamics technologies like that of the Brake Energy Regeneration, it will also have the Engine Auto Start/Stop.

What this particular feature does is to fully switch the engine off when the vehicle is standing still at a traffic light or in slow moving traffic. This allows it to minimize idling.

There is also the ECO PRO mode that, when activated through a switch, helps minimize fuel consumption by fine-tuning the air conditioning, engine map, mirror or seat heating, and heating in general.

In addition to minimizing the fuel consumption, it will also show the increased range through a display. Clearly, the 2012 528i is the best example of BMW EfficientDynamics, which improves efficiency, power, and agility.

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