M Performance

BMW M Running on 3 Cylinders?

Engine downsizing could lead BMW's M division to go with a compact 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine.

Not even BMW’s legendary M division is exempt from the industry trend of downsizing engines – at least, in terms of capacity and cylinder count, as output levels continue to rise. For the M5 and M6, BMW replaced the old V10 with a twin-turbo V8, and for the upcoming M3, it’s ditching the V8 for a forced-induction six. So what’s next for Munich’s performance department? A downsized 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine is a possibility, according to the latest report.

Speaking with Car and Driver, M GmbH chief Friedrich Nitschke revealed that the division over which he presides is looking into a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine with upwards of 310 horsepower. While he didn’t elaborate over what vehicle that type of engine could power, it’s safe to say it wouldn’t be one of BMW’s larger models, so a pocket rocket the size of the 1M Coupe or upcoming M235i could be a good fit.

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