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BMW To Offer Three-Cylinder Engines In U.S.

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BMW Concept Active Tourer, 2012 Paris Auto Show

BMW Concept Active Tourer, 2012 Paris Auto Show

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At the Paris Auto Show last week BMW unveiled a radical new concept that previewed the future technologies the automaker plans to introduce across its model range, from the base MINI Cooper right up to the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. One of those technologies was a new three-cylinder engine that should start appearing in some of the automaker’s cars from next year onwards, including here in the U.S.

The first U.S. model the tiny engine will appear in will likely be the i8 sports car, which in concept form has already been previewed with a three-cylinder engine rated at 223 horsepower. However, not long after, expect to see it in the third-generation MINI and several new hybrid models from the German luxury automaker.

The information was first reported by Automotive News (subscription required), citing an inside source.

We’ve already looked at the new three-cylinder engine in detail. There are both diesel and gasoline variants, though only the latter is expected in the U.S. Outputs range from about 80 to 221 horsepower, and according to BMW the refinement of the three-cylinder engine is equal to or better than that of the current four-cylinder units the automaker offers.

BMW has a lot riding on its new three-cylinder engine as the platform it is developed for primarily, the new UKL structure that will underpin the new MINI as well as BMW’s new front-wheel drive model, could eventually spawn up to 12 different models.
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