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Today the US government announced new efficiency standards that will (for the first time in recent memory) unify all states around the same set of standards. It will also greatly influence automotive products and new engines in the coming years.

The new CAFE standard will grow 5% from 2011 onward until 2016. At that time US automakers needs to an fleet average (for cars) of 42 mpg. That ‘s an increase of 14.5 mpg as compared to what is currently law. For reference BMW current fleet economy rating is 27.5 MPG

But how does it relate to BMW? Luckily for BMW and MINI the current crop of four cylinder petrol and diesel engines are already quite efficient as compared with other 4 cylinder power plants in the US. Yet, as a fleet they will need to average far more than they do now considering M cars and large engined 5 and 7 series sedans.

Which brings us to the question of, what comes next? Our sources are telling us that the first step will be a new turbo four cylinder engine destined for both the 1 and 3 series over the next two years. Beyond that BMW is currently studying the economics of bringing over the 2.0L diesel in the BMW 123d for not only BMW but for MINI as well. With over 200 hp and 240 ft lbs of torque in current BMW 123d form (don ‘t be surprised to see this tuned down for the MINI) this engine is what many of us have been waiting for.

Of course the wheels are still very much in motion so check back for updates as we get them.

Official BMW Release: BMW Group supports Obama Administration ‘s Proposal on Future National Fuel and Green House Gas Regulations

>The BMW Group is in agreement with the direction outlined today by President Obama and his Administration to have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation;s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) work together toward one national standard for regulating future greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy. “The announcement today by President Obama is a major step in the right direction for automotive manufacturers in the United States such as the BMW Group, ” said Friedrich Eichiner, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Consistency of legislation and planning certainty are not only crucial for synchronizing product development and regulatory requirements but also for enabling companies to remain viable, profitable and sustainable. ”

>With a view to the challenging new targets in the US the BMW Group can build upon its extensive technological expertise and innovative know-how in developing environmentally friendly technologies that have already enabled the company to reduce its carbon output and increase fuel efficiency over the past several years.

>In the US, the recent report entitled “Automakers’ Corporate Carbon Burdens” published by the Environmental Defense Fund found that the BMW Group had reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the US more than any other automotive company between 1990 and 2005.

>In Europe, the BMW Group also achieved fuel consumption levels that were the best among any premium auto manufacturer between 1995 and 2008, exceeding the voluntary commitment made by the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers to reduce average CO2-emissions by 25 per cent from 1995 to 2008. Such achievements have enabled the BMW Group to be ranked as the most sustainable automotive company in the world for the past four consecutive years.

>Innovative fuel and emission reduction solutions are part of the Efficient Dynamics program of the BMW Group, which is integrated throughout the company´s fleet. Since the spring of 2007 well over one million vehicles incorporating Efficient Dynamics measures have reached customers around the world. The launch of BMW Advanced Diesel this year will deliver further potential for fuel consumption reduction in the US. Later this year, the company will also introduce innovative hybrid systems.

>In addition to these efforts, the BMW Group is testing more than 600 electric MINI E vehicles both on the East and West coast of the US as well as in Germany and possibly soon in the UK to gain valuable insight and experience for a series version of an electric vehicle, which is expected to be launched by 2015. This demonstrates the BMW Group´s drive towards sustainable mobility and will help the US Government in its commitment towards a cleaner environment.