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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Opposite Lock - Rants & Raves

When the CAFE regulations were passed last year, the automotive world was turned on its head.  How could an auto manufacturer achieve an average fuel mileage of 35 mpg across its entire lineup?  Recently BMW released its first salvo into the fuel mileage war and it comes in the form of a four cylinder.
The BMW 3-series is what many consider to be the finest driver's car on the market.  For the past three generations the car has been primarily powered by inline-6 motors.  The bookends of that argument would be the current V8 powered M3 and the less than stellar 318.  Let's not dwell on those.

With BMW's release of the X1 xdrive28i, a new chapter is about to be written about "The Ultimate Driving Machine."  This is the first car that will be powered by BMW's new 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4.  Everyone let out a sigh of relief because this motor isn't giving anything up to the 3.0 liter in the current 128i and 328i.
While the straight-6 produces 230 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque, the turbo four makes 245 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.  Considering this motor will be put into the entry level 1 and 3-series models, the power delivery is probably as smooth as a teenager's face after a treatment of Proactiv.  Add in the lighter weight and smaller dimensions and future Bimmers will be untouchable in the corners as well as at the pumps.  If the next generation 1-series goes on a diet, a proper 2002 or E30 M3 successor could be in the works.
Another small car that could benefit from this would be the Mini.  The entire range is powered by 1.6 liters in the U.S.  Many have said the Countryman feels underpowered.  If this motor can be used in a front wheel drive application, BMW has definitely found its new cash cow.

1 comment:

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