According to European correspondent, Matt Davis, BMW may bring North America a four-cylinder 1 Series and 3 series. This goes hand in hand with the previous news we had reported on that BMW is planning on decreasing production of larger displacement engines. Our sources have indicated that there are some 1 series four-bangers cruising around the US, and we may have posted a photo of one them here.

From Edmunds:
MUNICH, Germany — While VW-Audi has shown its U.S. interest with a brand-new plant going up in Tennessee, and Mercedes has the upper ground on all German premiums with its clear diesel initiative in North America, BMW North America ‘s bold statement has not yet come. The company could use a big, mind-grabbing statement to bolster its profit base, and the smaller 1 Series introduction may not have the impact it is looking for in the U.S. market.

Enter the idea of a four-cylinder engine for the 3 Series.

In part to counter Mercedes ‘ recent decision to bring four-cylinder diesel engines into the North American lineup in 2010, BMW is believed to be close to committing to a four-cylinder gasoline-engine strategy for the latest 3 Series (and certainly the 1 Series) in the U.S. and Canada. In Europe, the 167-horsepower 320i is a healthy volume seller, as is the 120i, and BMW project director Oliver Friedmann tells Inside Line that such an addition to the company ‘s North American offerings “would have a desirable effect on many fronts. ”

The direct-injection four-cylinder gas BMWs are, by many accounts, the best models sold by the company. And the fuel-consumption numbers speak volumes.

Regarding the chance of also bringing over the company ‘s outstanding 123d or 320d four-cylinder turbodiesels, Friedmann and others say that North America isn ‘t quite ready yet for four-cylinder diesel Bimmers, particularly not the 3 Series customer.

What will the switch to four cylinders mean? Audi and VW have used turbo 4s for quite some time and have been able to scrape by. Up until BMW released the 335i they were content with handling and efficiency, so it appears that they will be returning to those roots once again.