BMW is rumored to be considering a four-cylinder engine for their M3/M4 brand. That's preposterous, you say. What's next, a 4-cylinder Jaguar F-Type? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, a 4-banger F-Type may also be in the cards.
Well, it shouldn't come as too big of a surprise, considering that the M3's roots run deep with a 4-cylinder heritage. In fact, the original M3 debuted with only a 2.3-liter in-line four in 1985. It featured 192 horsepower through a Bosch Motronic fuel injection.
After this, the BMW brand started adding cylinders, until they reached eight in the E90, which surmounted to a total of 414 horsepower. Today, it would appear that BMW is starting back down the ladder, having settled on a 3-liter twin turbo in 2014 worth 431 horsepower. The future of the M3/M4 brand may very well have a four cylinder in its (distant) future.
“We do not start our design process with a power output in mind,” BMW M product manager, Carsten Pries, told Motoring.com.au in a report. “We have a set of characteristics that a new model must meet. For sure, you could see a future [M3] powered by a four-cylinder engine.”
The reason that BMW would be so keen to introduce smaller engines into the engine bays of their coveted M3 and M4 brand is that it would likely introduce an edge in efficiency and performance. If you think about it, compared to the 8-cylinder E90, the 6-cylinder twin turbo F80 not only has more horsepower, but 25 percent more efficiency.
“Performance can be boosted with more power, but if we are to address issues like emissions and consumption [in the future], we have to look more at weight,” Pries explained further. “If we have a car with less mass, it is foreseeable that the [performance] targets we set could be reached with a four [cylinder],” he stated.
BMW has been reported to be tripling their carbon fiber production. They will likely need it for their future “M” and “i#” cars to take full advantage of the smaller engines they are considering. The question is, would you buy a BMW M3/M4 with a four-cylinder turbo? Let BMW know in the comments below.