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BMW 4 cylinder: 6 liter smoothness, 5 liter eco

5-series | June 26th, 2010 by 10
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Our friend Richard Aucocks brings us all the way from UK an interesting report on the 2011 BMW 520d Touring. The diesel engine in the …

Our friend Richard Aucocks brings us all the way from UK an interesting report on the 2011 BMW 520d Touring. The diesel engine in the 520d gives an excellent ratio of power consumption and despite its 184 horsepower, the BMW 520d offers a standard consumption of just 5.1 liters of diesel per 100 km (46.1 mpg), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 135 grams per kilometer.

Let’s have a look.

“BMW’s latest 5 Series marks the introduction of 4-cylinder engines into the F10 platform. Until now, it’s been all 6-cylinders or V8s.

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Powertrain manager Jan Kretschmer revealed what’s been keeping them busy at the launch of the 520d variant, on the debut of this September’s F11 Touring.

My, they’ve been well-occupied, it seems. ‘4 cylinder engines are always a bigger challenge for our engineers,’ he explained; even ones like this, with counter-rotating balancer shafts.

They have, as you know, a different (‘and higher’) level of NVH – noise, vibration, harshness. ‘You have to consider this before you even start with the development and installation.

‘Luckily, our Body-In-White department is able to conduct a lot of simulation work (big investment in computer technology over the past half-decade facilitates this). This means we can predefine possible weaknesses where extra stiffening may help – or, actually, stiff areas where some weakness may be beneficial!

‘They start this 5 years before the vehicle hits the road.’

Concurrently, his powertrain team will be working to provide the smoothest possible engine for eventual implementation. With the 184hp (135kW) 2.0-litre diesel, Kretschmer explained the process was one of evolution. ‘We were tasked with further refining an already high-level engine, rather than reinventing it.’

Two key development areas were prioritised here:

• Engine Mountings: ‘These must be isolated. We fit electronically driven semi-hydraulic engine mounts, with 2 characteristics. At idle and low rpm, they are ‘weaker’, to absorb low-level vibration. When driving, there are fewer engine vibrations, so we stiffen them to improve handling.’”

To learn more about Fluctuating Torque and other technical detail, read the full article.

  • Iks

    Why we still cant see 2.0d bi-turbo (23d) diesels on 5 series? Can any answer?

    • Gorban

      The 520d is all about economy. Low consumption at a resonable price. If anyone want’s more power they have to opt for the 6 cylinders. That’s why we wont see the 23d in the 5-series for long.

  • Doug

    What about a piezoelectric engine mount that can translate vibration and torque into electricity?

  • plaxico

    “4 cylinder: 6 liter smoothness, 5 liter eco”

    idgi; this really doesn’t make sense. 5 liter economy? Maybe you meant 6 cylinder smoothness, 4 cylinder economy?

    • Doug

      I think he meant 6 cylinder smoothness, 5 liter-per-100km efficiency. The latter is probably a popular way of describing mileage in other regions.

      • wazon8

        That’s exact meaning of this slogan. 5litre/100km is the only way of describing milage in Europe (expect Great Britain).

  • JakeM

    I’d love to see such an engine here in the US. I’d be one of the first in line to get it.

    But, with our car magazines being so ridiculously performance biased, many for no straight reason, this will never be the case. A 520d would make perfect sense for almost 85% of all BMW 5er owners in the US, who, let’s be honest, buy these cars more because of status than the sporty driving experience.

    The capabilities of this engine appear to be quite modern. It seems refined and economical and is also clearly not slow. Given the speed limits here and the cruising driving style most Americans practice, a 520d would be IDEAL. I can see some great highway mileage coming from this engine.

    I’m not sure if this is just a rumor but apparently Mercedes is planning on bringing over a 4-cylinder diesel E class. If you look over at the car section in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribue (online), which mostly comprise a mature and open-minded audience, I would think, the response has been thrilling. Many people freely admit that smaller, more economical engines would suit their driving style better and they would have no problem driving a European luxury car with such a motor.

  • Andy T.

    Well, it is all in the hands of marketing and research dept. I guess!?
    People in N.America are really blind about diesel capabilities. Well, at least 95% of them. You guys are proud of your 4, 5, and 6 litter (gas) power plants, but the truth is… that the majority does not use, or need that kind of power. Your highway limits are so “down to earth”, it is not even funny.
    65-80 miles/hr. on a highway and the distances you travel there are the perfect combination for demand of a modern diesel. “Common rail diesel” I guess it is a new combination of words for US, It’s simply the way to go! Quiet, powerful and efficient.
    The engine we are discussing here is 184 hp. diesel. The year is almost 2011. This engine is capable of outperforming a BMW E39’s 530I engine-(code M54B30) by far- in elasticity measure (from 80-120 Km.h on fourth gear) not to mention the fuel economy!?
    http://bmwheaven.com/database/index.php?search=530
    The new 520D can go on up to 965 miles on a single tank of gas… NO COMENT.
    Think of it this way… if you drive an average gas sedan (intrepid, camry, legend and so on) every time you pay $50.00 at the pump, you are throwing almost $28.00 away. (55%)! And the performance you get is less.
    Oh well, there is probably a good reason for US not wanting to sign the Kyoto Protocol!?
    Cheers from the EU.

    • Koko

      With all the diesel advantages, there is something you forget – the psychological factor – it will be hard to convince the US buyer to get used to the rattle and vibrations of a 4cyl diesel, as advanced as it may be, it is still far behind gasoline smoothnes. I think they should start with the 6 cyl engines just to give time to people to get used to diesel, and then move to the 4. However the 4 cyl turbo age is comming to BMW and I think that is what US will get before enything else.

  • PAF1

    Its easy to just blow off all Americans saying that we don’t get it. Which Americans? Get what? BMW seems to forget what got them where they are today. It was performance based cars. selling overpriced saloons to Rich Americans who haven’t been brainwashed by the European union saying they’ll save a dollar is just stupid. Here diesel costs more than has and many service stations don’t carry it. If you want to sell diesel cars to Americans under the heading: ” The smart thing to do” sell a diesel powered 1 series for $20,000.

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