As reported yesterday, BMW will slowly phase out 6-cylinder engine production at its Munich plant in favor for 4-cylinder engines. BMW plans on producing 240,000 4-cylinder units a year. According to InsideLine, BMW is now close to confirming that it will indeed add four-cylinder engines to its 3-Series and 1-Series lineup in North America.
Why? Well for one the 6-cylinder 1-Series hasn’t given BMW the response it was looking for in North America mainly due to the pricing factor which can be reduced when offering a less powerful 4-cylinder engine. Second, rival Mercedes-Benz has already confirmed that it will bring 4-cylinder diesel engines to its U.S. lineup by 2010.
The BMW 320i and 120i are volume sellers for BMW in Europe. BMW’s project director Oliver Friedmann believes it will have a huge impact in the U.S. as well.
As for 4-cylinder turbodiesels in the U.S., Freidmann says that North America is just not ready for them.