BMW, Mercedes-Benz considering 4-cylinder engines for the U.S.

We’ve been hearing it for some time now and today we have BMW officials speaking out on the matter. Both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have been considering bringing back 4-cylinder engines to the United States in an effort to cut their lineup’s overall fuel-economy.

According to BMW of North America CEO Jim O’Donnell, BMW is considering a twin-turbocharged, direct-injected 4-cylinder gasoline engine for the U.S. He said that “plans will be firmed up when we have definite news from Washington on what the fuel standards are going to be.”

O’Donnell said that the 4-cylinder engine would be used in the 1-Series, 3-Series, X3 and the upcoming X1. The 4-cylinder engine will offer power that is comparable to the current inline 6-cylinder, but with better fuel-economy.

On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz is still deciding whether to offer its 4-cylinder diesel engine shown in the E250 BluTEC concept at the 2009 New York Auto Show. The engine produces 204-hp and helps return a fuel-economy of 43 mpg and exhaust emissions that comply with U.S. Bin 5 standards.

BMW discontinued 4-cylinder engines in 1999 with the 318ti hatchback while Mercedes-Benz stopped offering them in 2005 in favor for 6-cylinder engines for the SLK and C-Class.

– By: Kap Shah

Source: AutoWeek