Along with the rest of the automotive industry, the German luxury car builder BMW announced that they are planning to follow a recipe of downsizing and turbo charging their vehicle’s power plants in an attempt to meet the stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations that have been set forth by the U.S. Government stating that every automaker’s lineup must have an average fuel economy of 35 MPG by 2015. It was at last week’s Frankfurt Motor show that BMW North America CEO, Jim O’Donnell spoke with Automotive News about the automaker’s plans to sell four cylinder equipped vehicles in the U.S. by 2012.
The innovative German automaker sees the use of BMW’s next generation turbocharger technology along with smaller displacement engines as a way of generating output levels on par with today’s engines but with much greater fuel mileage and much less emissions. The CAFE regulations state that automakers must improve the fuel economy of their fleets by 5 percent every year leading up to the national standard of 35.5 MPG for the 2016 model year.
Across the pond, BMW already sells a European 3 Series with a four cylinder power plant under the hood, the automaker’s hope is that America will be just as accepting because they are planning on downsizing the drive trains of the next generation 3 Series as well as the X1 and X3 compact sports activity vehicles. O’Donnell sounds hopeful, saying “we see potentially a significant market that could get to 100,000 four cylinder engines” in the U.S. of course. If everything goes according to the automaker’s plans, then the Germans should be good by the year 2012, three years before the deadline set by Congress. Hopefully that will leave them some time to come up with a true 2002 tii successor.
BMW statement after the jump.
BMW’s official statement
FRANKFURT — BMW plans to offer four-cylinder gasoline engines in the United States in an effort to meet stricter fuel economy rules. Introduction of the powerplants, equipped with the automaker’s next-generation twin turbochargers, “is the goal and we will do it,” Jim O’Donnell, CEO of BMW of North America, said today on the sidelines of the Frankfurt auto show. O’Donnell said the engines will allow the automaker to reach U.S. targets before 2015. Under federal guidelines proposed today, automakers will have to improve the fuel economy of their fleets by 5 percent annually before a national standard of 35.5 mpg takes effect in the 2016 model year. BMW will add a four-cylinder variant for its next 3 series in the United States by spring 2012, O’Donnell said. The automaker already equips its European 3 series with four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. BMW also is considering adding four-cylinder gasoline engines to its X1 and X3 crossovers and 1-series model in the United States. In Europe, the X1 will be available with a four-cylinder, twin-turbo diesel engine when it launches this fall. The X3 and 1 series also are offered with four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines in Europe. “We see potentially a significant market that could get to 100,000 four-cylinder engines” in the United States, O’Donne said.