BMW Announces First Inline Three-Cylinder

Posted on 30 April, 2013

The automotive industry is continuously looking for new ways to improve overall fuel-economy, going as far as reducing cylinders from 6 to 4, or reducing the material to lighter weight materials, improving aerodynamics. Or just creating electric components. Now BMW has gone ahead and stepped up their game once again with the planned introduction of their three-cylinder engine block.

The German automakers plan to create this three-cylinder an inline, and are essentially just half of their six-cylinder. It will be a turbocharged 1.5-liter unit, direct fuel injection and designed for optimal fuel-economy results. The only real problem that BMW needed to overcome when they were electing to drop a whole cylinder down to just three, was would it produce enough power so the driver wasn’t feeling the drag?

By removing one cylinder BMW found that it didn’t just help remove mass/volume, but it also reduced the amount of friction that optimally slowed down performance, and ultimately improved fuel-economy. These are changes that the BMW knew they had to make going forward.

Early test drives with the prototype of the three-cylinder proved to be successful and positive for BMW as critics announce that the 175 horsepower and three cylinders proved more than ample to give a unique and enjoyable driving experience.  The fears that the reduction in engine would create a bit more loss in acceleration than the four-cylinder, but it actually provided minimal difference.

The release of this three-cylinder engine block isn’t expected to happen until 2014. It is expected to make its big splash with the 1 Series, and even could make use in the lower model 3-Series. BMW isn’t the only ones looking to market this three-cylinder idea to North America; Ford also has announced that they want to do the same thing with their subcompact Fiesta next year. But BMW will be the first luxury brand to introduce such a small engine.

Want to learn more about how this three-cylinder will stack up against the recent BMW models as four-cylinders and six-cylinders? You can do that research yourself by visiting There you can find an in-depth research center, reviewing many of the newer BMW models.