Next Generation 1 and 3 Series to Use 3 Cylinders Engines

As we ‘ve previously reported BMW will be further downsizing their entry level engines for the next generation 1 and 3 series. More specifically for the first time in recent memory BMW will be using three cylinder engines rather than four. Reportedly some of the technology involved will be derived from the Motorcycle division ‘s recent powerplant work.

Here ‘s a quick list of the rumored three and four cylinder engine line-up. Note the six cylinder engines are not going away – they ‘re just not listed. (courtesy of Auto Motor Und Sport)

  • x16i – 1.35 liters I3, 122 hp/190Nm (140 ft lbs)
  • x18i – 1.35 liters I3, 150 hp/220Nm (162 ft lbs)
  • x20i – 1.35 liters I3, 180 hp/260Nm (192 ft lbs)
  • x23i – 1.80 liters I4, 204 hp/300Nm (221 ft lbs)
  • x25i – 1.80 liters I4, 240 hp/350Nm (258 ft lbs)
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  • Wow.

  • wait…what? I can see this in the 1 series (only if they knock off a few K off the price tag) but their flagship seller, the 3 series to go with a 3 Cylinder engine? I call BS on that one. I dont see it at all unless some really explosive technological shifts are about to happen that BMW isnt letting on

  • @illegalprelude: It makes no sense as to why they wouldn’t do this. They currently have all the small 4 cylinders in the E90. Why would they continue to not put their most fuel efficient engines in there?

  • Ben


  • Dylan

    Am I the only one utterly impressed by how much power BMW are getting out of such tiny displacements? 180 hp/260Nm out of a 1.4 litre engine is so impressive.

  • mellowmcs

    I don’t really see what’s so lame about this. BMW has been putting smaller engines in european models for a long time now. any one remember the e32 720i?

    It would be great if some of the higher output engines make it over to the US in the 3 and 1 series as well as the rumored z2.

  • There is some serious engineering going on in Munich (and in outlying towns 🙂 ) There is a lot of unconventional thinking going on and it is going to be groundbreaking when it comes to market. The CCM in the V8 ///M motor for the X5/X6 was just the tip of the iceberg.

    Less cylinders, less displacement with more power, efficiency and less emissions; all with negligible “lag”.

    Sign me up for this on my commuter but leave my NA V8 roaring!


  • JonPD

    Not a bad move, as a added bonus likely also less weight. Would also not be to surprised if we see them move MINI to using 3 cylinder motors in the future. As some point though sounds like we should expect less of the throaty growl coming from under the hoods of some BMW’s. I think if they paralleled this development with some serious work on dropping the weight on both the 1 and 3 series this development could really work out well. I am still kinda laughing though since BMW is driven to producing a ever increasing number of SUV’s which are stuck with bigger motors to compensate for the excess weight being carried around.

  • Chris B.

    Well as can be expected; don’t plan on seeing any of these really cool developments over here. For the lack of a far far better expression there are times I absolutely hate BMW NA.

  • Luis

    Awsome!!! a 1.8 delivering 240hp?!?!? wtf! xD Well done BMW! =D

  • eager2own

    “Lame” was my thought exactly when I read the article title — but then I saw the forecasted output numbers… kudos to BMW if they can deliver those numbers! +1

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  • Melis

    With the new S1000RR, “developing maximum output of 142 kW (193 hp) at 13,000 rpm and revving up to a maximum speed of 14,200 rpm. Maximum torque of 112 Nm (82.5 lb-ft), in turn, comes at 9,750 rpm.”

    All coming out of a 4 cylinder engine of just 999cc…Thats only 1.0L! Tes, I know its a high revving race bike, with not a lot of torque, but still. Thats’ s pretty awesome engine, so I would have no problem with BMW Motorrad working on some car engines.

  • Ted

    Here comes the next engineering challenge….as environmental regulations catch up with the times, and fuel prices move to the Exxon 7 dollar US gal price + 3 dollar carbon tax, watch the real magic show start performing with automobile technology. High efficiency, hybrid, electric, nano materials, nano technology, new fuels, AI systems, hopefully GM will still be around. Bye Bye Cheney.

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  • Mike

    QUESTION TO ALL: Is this the rumored high-performance I4 that we heard about last year that would have a redline between 9-12k RPM?

    Or is that the I4 they were supposed to be making for the 1-series “tii”????

  • BmwM5Fan

    does x stands for xdrive?