Jim O’Donnell (BMWNA CEO) has officially confirmed in an interview with Business Week that BMW is working on developing a new 4-cylinder motor, so all the speculation can finally come to an end.

As heard in the interview: “It will deliver stronger performance in terms of acceleration than the current 6-cylinder, it will deliver lower emissions and will give you better fuel economy; so it is a win, win, win situation. This will be a high tech 4-cylinder engine; obviously turbo charged. We can’t really confirm or deny when it is going to come into the US, or if it is going to come into the US, until after the election and the government makes it clear what is going to be the platform that manufacturers have got to work to. “

What he is basically saying is that future US policy will dictate whether or not we see these motors. I have a tough time swallowing that personally since that means BMW is not thinking about how to become more efficient for the right reasons but rather to meet requirements of the government. I thought I just read something about sustainability? If what he says is true about the performance, efficiency and emissions why would the US not see this motor?

I apologize for turning this into an opinion piece as that was not the original intention. As I listened to this interview numerous times to make sure I quoted it correctly the more I realized what he was saying; BMW is developing this great motor but we will only see it if a certain president is elected and certain policies are implemented. That is not saying we will not see this motor ever but that it may be fast tracked and we see it sooner than later, which is a great thing for countless reasons. The only down side I see is that the current 6 cylinder (N52) life-cycle is cut by a few years.

It is also possible that he may be referring to other programs which may require cars to have hybrid technology or hit certain numbers in which case this motor would not meet those requirements. At this point it is a waiting game but we do know that these things really do exist and hopefully we will see them soon in cars weighing in a bit less. What do you think?

You can watch the full interview here and read up on the new 7 as well (which we have covered extensively in the past).