At the 2017 New York Auto Show, we sat down with Alanna Tracey-Bahri, Product Manager at BMW North America, to talk about the current U.S. lineup and future models. Among many topics, one came up consistently – the future of diesels in the United States. One model that has yet to be announced in the new 5 Series lineup is a diesel, but according to Bahri, customers will soon have a choice.
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Today, Car and Driver confirms that the model in question will be the 2018 BMW 540d, which will join diesel versions of the 3 Series, X3, and X5, all of which are currently for sale after passing more stringent EPA emissions testing for the 2017 model year.
The 540d is powered by a 3.0 liter six-cylinder turbo diesel making 316 horsepower and it’s expected to have better fuel economy than the previous generation 535d which was rated at 30-mpg EPA combined rating.
Since the diesel scandal triggered by Volkswagen, which has affected the entire automotive industry, many carmakers have been reluctant to commit to a future which involves diesel engines. BMW has been one of the few that has reiterated their commitment to the development of diesel engines.
Not only for the BMW Group, but also for most other cars in Europe, the diesel engine is extremely important. Without the economical self-ignition as an essential component of the fleet consumption, the CO2 limits required by the EU are inaccessible and, of course, engines operating according to Rudolf Diesel’s principle, at least in Europe, also represent a large part of the sales figures.
According to Gerhard Wölfel, Managing Director of BMW Motorenwerk Steyr, the Munich-based automaker will continue the further development of diesel engines.