BMW Brings Back The Four Banger
The last time a four cylinder engine powered a BMW in the United States was in 1999; back then, it was a somewhat anemic 138 horsepower. You could find it in the entry level Z3 roadster, and in the quirky BMW 318i Compact, but customer perception was that real BMWs had six cylinder engines. By 1999, the 318i had been dropped from BMW’s U.S. lineup, and the base motor in the Z3 was upgraded to a 2.5 liter straight six. BMW would continue the use of four cylinder engines in the EU, where fuel economy and price were primary concerns, and would focus on premium cars with six or more cylinders for the U.S. market.