Mercedes-Benz and BMW seem to be on agreement in at least one thing. They're both working on three-cylinder petrol engines that will be launched within the next five years. The three-cylinder turbocharged unit will be installed in all Mercedes-Benz cars up to and including the C-class.
BMW, on the other hand, is designing cars that will suit the noise, vibration, and harshness associated with these three-pot engines. Dr. Thomas Weber, Daimler's board member in charge of R&D, said that a three-cylinder engine in the C-class is "quite conceivable." Daimler strategist Johannes Reisenrath said that to improve economy, it's logical that from four cylinders, BMW can still go lower.
He cited that with a 1.2-liter three-cylinder, the car can have 16bhp with a turbo, plus 150-185lb ft, which is sufficient for a mid-sized car like the C-class.
Its 6% fuel consumption benefit together with the 95g/km of CO2 fleet fuel consumption as a target means that it's definitely an option it will consider. Mercedes is working to figure out a way to serve their customers economical vehicles.
In a survey it conducted, consumers want three-cylinder cars to be as fast as their current cars. Reisenrath said that the three-cylinder vehicles have a "nice torque punch." With the advancement in turbocharging and gearboxes, the cars will be improved further.
According to Autocar's sources from BMW, the next 1-Series has been engineered to cope with the noise and vibration of a three-cylinder engine. BMW has had the same experience in its motorcycles, where its priority is reducing NVH.