Oil-burning BMWs are coming to the U.S., and they're coming packed with plenty of technology. Two models -- the 335d and X5 xDrive35d -- will arrive on our shores in late 2008 after making their debut later this month at the Detroit auto show. Both are designed to meet the stringent Bin 5 emissions standards and will be sold in all 50 states, according to BMW. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
Diesels have obviously been a staple in Europe forever. Fuel prices are a multiple of ours in the US, and the Europeans, ironically, have a more pragmatic view regarding emissions restraints.
For the cost-conscious enthusiast, diesels actually have a lot to offer. After all, American "muscle", usually provided by a large-displacement V8, is actually an expression of the torque-laden nature of American power plants. Torque is what pushes you back in your seat.
Diesels offer extreme levels of torque, even in a small displacement engine.
The ’09 X5 xDrive 35d and 335d arrive this fall with the auto maker’s 3.0L inline 6 cyl. twin-turbo diesel engine. The engine leverages a urea-injection exhaust treatment, which BMW calls BluePerformance, to meet 50-state emissions requirements.
The auto maker says the diesel develops 265 hp, a whopping 425 lb.-ft. of torque (576 Nm) and will push the X5 xDrive 35d from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.2 seconds while still achieving 19/25 mpg (12.4/9.4 L/100 km). It powers the 335d from 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds and gets 23/33 mpg (10.2/7.1 L/100 km).
For example, the torque rating of BMW's 3.0 liter inline 6-cylinder diesel, at 425 lb.-ft. is higher than the 5.7 liter Hemi V8 in my Chrysler 300C, which is listed at 390 lb.-ft.
The new Suburban has even less at 335 lb.-ft.
The 6.2 Liter LS3 V8 in the 2008 Corvette is comparable at 424 lb.-ft.
The BMW offers the same torque from a power plant half the size and with more than 50% improved fuel economy.
I will be eager to test drive one of these when my lease is up.