Recently, Ford introduced the 1.0L Ecoboost 3-cylinder engine in the Ford Focus. If you are surprised at how a 3-cylinder lump can power a car the size of a Focus, you may fall off the chair to learn that the new BMW 3 Series could get 3-cylinder engines in the next couple of years according to BMW’s head of engine development, Peter Nefischer.
Engine technology has gone almost as far as possible with the current standard internal combustion engines, according to Nefischer, and that the next step is smaller units.”'Downsizing will go further, with smaller, more powerful engines,” he said. “These smaller engines would be combined with turbochargers to give them the required power for a car as large as the 3 Series.”
Codenamed N37, the new engine will have a capacity of 1.5L, with each cylinder being 500cc. According to BMW, the N37 will match the 54 hp-per-cylinder rating of BMW’s new N20 turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4. Crunch the numbers and this implies that a top-of-the-range version of the N37 will pump out about 162hp. Come to think of it, this would make the existing 1.6L TwinPower Turbo unit looks rather redundant. The N37 is expected to make its debut on the BMW 1 series before finding its way into the bonnet of the 3 series.