That's not bad for a smaller, less-powerful engine, at least from a pure horsepower perspective. BMW's new turbo 2.0 puts out 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The virtue of the trade-off in horsepower and torque comes in the delivery. Both engines have nearly identical horsepower curves, but the four-cylinder peaks 2000 RPM earlier and holds it to redline, whereas the six didn't peak until the 7000 RPM redline. In fact, until 6000 RPM, the four-cylinder is actually making more power than the six at any given RPM. The torque curves are even more interesting. Where the six built up to its peak torque at 3000 rpm then tapered off slightly, the turbo four hits peak torque at 1300 RPM and holds it to 5000 RPM before tapering off.
The real-world result is, quite predictably, that the turbo four feels more powerful off the line and while accelerating in gear from low RPM. Both in town and on the highway, the new four-cylinder feels faster than the old six-cylinder without giving up any of the smoothness. The power and delivery are very well-matched to the vehicle and make it a great daily driver. For the average driver, it's perfect, but for the enthusiast, it's a bit of a letdown. Winding out the inline-six made the X1 nearly as fun to drive as a lower-trim 3 Series. But then, enthusiasts won't be angling for an X1 -- they'll just buy the 3 Series, so it's a moot point. The six-speed manual is nice, too, but as I'm sure you've already guessed, we won't be getting that in America. We didn't drive the eight-speed automatic model, but experience with other BMWs tells us it's a fine transmission and we don't expect any issues.