Originally Posted by JasonCSU
The reason the 4-cylinders disappeared then was because they were underpowered for the weight of the car compared to the 4-cylinder engines of the E30 days. How do you figure that all these people despise 4-cylinder engines even more? Sure, there is something to be said for the silky smoothness and decent torque of an NA I6, but modern 4-cylinders have come a long way. As someone already said, if these new engines offer equal or improved drivability, then most people probably won't care that the NA I6 has been replaced. It will be us enthusiasts/purists that miss it the most.
This is the second post romancing the beloved 4-cylinder of the E30. Being a person who actually was of age during the rise of the E30 (and owned a '89 325i for 18 years), your admiration is highly unfounded. When the E21 came to America, it was only offered as a four cylinder and the car was slow and unreliable once the catalytic version debuted in 1980. It was so bad that BMW finally offered the E30 with an I6 all of 121 HP. The famous ETA M20. Not until BMW refitted the ETA with a decent cylinder head an created the 168HP M20 motor in the 325i was an E30 any good. BMW's only other 4-cylinder was the E30 M3, which had problems of its own. In '91 came the modern-engined E30 318 as a last gasp before the E36 debuted. I have a version of this motor in my Wife's Z3 1.9 L, and it in no way is anywhere as nice an engine as any BMW I6.
It will be soon that the only naturally aspriated I6 BMW vehicle sold as new will be the soon-to-be released BMW K1600 MOTORCYCLE! Pitty.