BMW’s TwinPower Turbo tech has filtered down to its four-cylinder engines, and the X1 xDrive28i that will be shown at Geneva to Europeans for the first time will be the first model to receive the motor. Munich wasn’t known as proponent of forced induction until recently, but since adopting turbo, the firm’s blown six-cylinder 3.0L that powers variants with ’35’ in their name has been a serial winner of engine awards.

BMW is now trying to replicate the success of that 306 hp engine with its four-pot engines. The recipient is a 2.0-litre direct injection petrol unit with an all-aluminium crankcase including a motorsport-derived bedplate. With 245 hp at 5,000 rpm, it has 74 hp more than the previous highest powered BMW 2.0L petrol unit. By the way, the 320i sold in Malaysia makes only 156 horses – can you imagine the quantum of improvement at play here?

This Valvetronic (latest gen is faster acting thanks to an optimised stepper motor with integrated sensor) and double Vanos unit also makes 350 Nm from just above idle at 1,250 rpm! BMW promises “vigorous power delivery” and that could still be an understatement. With all that firepower, the X1 xDrive28i sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds or 6.5 seconds with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Top speed is 240 km/h.

How fast is that? If you have not experienced it, do a standing start acceleration run in a Golf GTI, then imagine a BMW X1 pulling away beside you. It’s quite something.

The efficiency department is covered by a computer-controlled oil pump and an on-demand electric coolant pump. The six-speed manual comes with Auto Start-Stop as well. The X1 xDrive28i has an average fuel consumption of 7.9 litres per 100 km (12.7 km/l), 16% better than the old NA engine, so it’s a gain on all fronts.

There’s clearly more performance and efficiency here than in BMW’s base six-cylinder engines. Would you prefer this or the “bragging rights” and sweet revving nature of Munich’s naturally aspirated straight-six?

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