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Turbocharged BMW coming

It is the first time that BMW has launched a production turbo-four since the 2002 of 1974.

BMW in the US yesterday unveiled its new turbocharged 2-litre petrol engine that is claimed to have the performance of a six with the economy of a ... well, four.

Proposed initially for the X1 - and to be badged xDrive28i - in Europe later this year, the turbo is also bound for the entry-level Z4 and selected 1-Series and 3-Series vehicles.

BMW Australia spokesman Piers Scott says it's coming, but it is still being determined when it arrives and in what model.

"It may not be the X1 that's first in Australia with this engine," he says. "Production scheduling could see the four-cylinder Z4 getting here first."

The twin-scroll turbo four pumps 180kW and 353Nm of torque - more torque than the company's 3-litre atmo six that has 190kW/310Nm.

It is the first time that BMW has launched a production turbo-four since the 2002 of 1974.

The engine delivers its power at 5000rpm, 1500rpm lower than the peak power of the six, and the 353Nm of torque hits at 1250rpm - again, 1500rpm earlier than the six.

BMW says the four-cylinder engine has an aluminum crankcase so is lighter and smaller than the 3-litre six. Its compact size will allow it to be placed at the back of the engine bay to improve chassis balance.

The result of increased performance also comes with lower fuel consumption and emissions, though BMW is yet to release details.