Since the current priority of the Obama Administration is to create more stringent fuel economy standards, the top German luxury carmakers are contemplating swapping their traditional six-cylinder powerplants with four-cylinder units just to meet the new standards that will be put in place.
The last offering of a four-cylinder unit for the US by the German carmaker BMW was way back in 1999 with its 318i hatchback, which was discontinued due to weak market performance.
With the new fuel economy standards, BMW is planning a direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder as the means to meet these new requirements. BMW will finalize its plans when Washington comes up with the final form of its fuel standards.
The powerplant can be utilized in the 1- and 3-series and the X1 and X3 crossover vehicles. Currently, BMW is working on the new four-cylinder powerplant to get it to have as much potency as the in-line six-cylinder units with enhanced fuel economy and lower carbon emissions. BMW is apprehensive though since buyers may not be willing enough to cash out extra for the new engine.
Building the new four-cylinder engine will cost BMW more and that extra cost will, unfortunately, be passed down to buyers.
Presently, Mercedes-Benz is likewise contemplating if it should also bring the four-cylinder diesel found in the E250 BlueTec Concept it showed at the New York auto show recently to US markets.
The powerplant in the concept, a 2.2 diesel, produces 204hp and has a fuel consumption rating of slightly less than 40mpg on highway driving.
According to Mercedes-Benz, although the powerplant may not work in the E-class for the US market, it would be ideal for the C-class sedan and GLK crossover. Both current generations of the vehicles may employ the power unit.