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2020 BMW 318i returns to four-cylinder power

But it's not on the radar for Australia, where 320i will remain the entry point
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BMW has offered a few details on its imminent range-opening 3 Series derivative, which will once agin wear the well-known 318i badge.

Interestingly, the company has abandoned the strategy it used on the previous 318i iteration, which featured Mini's thrummy 100KW/220Nm three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine.

Instead, the G20 series 318i gets a version of the 320i's TwinPower turbo four-cylinder unit making 115kW and 250Nm, mated to the familiar eight-speed ZF auto and rear-wheel drive chassis.

BMW cites verified fuel consumption of 5.3L/100km for the sedan and 5.7L/100km for the Touring (wagon), and respective zero to 100km/h sprint times for 8.4 seconds and 8.7 seconds.

The old three-cylinder 318i used a claimed 5.5L/100km and took 8.9 seconds to get to 100km/h in sedan form.

By contrast, the 135kW/300Nm 320i uses as little as 6.3L/100km on a combined-cycle test and gets to 100km/h from standstill in 7.2 seconds.

However, BMW Australia has said that unlike in previous 3 Series incarnations, this one won't be coming to local showrooms to undercut the current 320i entry point.

Given that the most popular 3 Series derivative locally is the faster 330i, BMW's local arm clearly sees little demand for an even more pared-back offering.