BMW has announced that it wants to expand its TwinPower turbo technology to smaller displacement engines, including 4-cylinder and 3-cylinder power plants.

TwinPower technology features twin-scroll turbocharging coupled with direct-injection and variable valve management (the Valvetronic system) that delivers greater output and efficiency from a smaller engine.

The technology debuted back in 2009 on the 3.0 liter inline six-cylinder gasoline unit fitted to the 5-Series GT. The technology is also used on other models and larger displacement power plants.

Back in January, BMW introduced the X1 xDrive28i with a new 2.0 liter turbocharged engine featuring the TwinPower turbo system. That power plant has an output of 245 PS/180 kW (242 bhp) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque. For the all-wheel drive X1 xDrive28i, fuel-economy is 7.9 liters/100 km on the EU test cycle.

We've heard rumblings for a while now that BMW is developing a 3-cylinder engine, which it now says will also get TwinPower technology. BMW is working on a range of 3-cylinder engines that will power the next-generation MINI as well as new entry-level compact BMWs.

BMW plans on both diesel and petrol/gasoline 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder units as being its highest volume engine groups. That family of engines will go into about 1.5 million vehicles a year by 2015.

Gallery: BMW TwinPower turbo tech to be used on 3-cylinder engines

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