*Update* BMW of North America has just issued the following statement:
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“The all new BMW X5 will launch with 2 gasoline variants (xDrive 40i and xDrive 50i) and a PHEV variant is planned to follow in 2020 as a 2021 model year. The final decision as to whether or not the BMW X5 diesel variant will come to the US market has not been made. BMW of North America continues to monitor customer preferences and is prepared to adjust the product portfolio accordingly.”
The diesel era in the United States is coming to an end soon. For 2018, BMW offered the 328d, the 540d xDrive and the X5 35d to American customers, but in 2019, all those will be gone. The 540d and the X5 35d have already been removed from BMW NA’s online configurator.
In a statement to Autoblog, a BMW spokesperson confirmed that the brand is focusing on PHEVs in favor of diesels. “BMW of North America has seen a decrease in diesel sales and at the same time has seen dramatic sales growth for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology and strong demand for performance oriented gasoline engines.”
The removal of the 540d xDrive is certainly interesting, considering the model was just introduced in the US this year and it’s regarded as one of the most fun cars to drive of the range. Customers still have a few more months to order the 261-horsepower, 457 pound-foot diesel sedan, as well as the X5 35d.
The 2019 BMW X5 will have two variants for now – the xDrive40i and xDrive50i. The BMW X5 xDrive45e plug-in hybrid will join the lineup in 2021.
“At this time BMW of North America is not planning on offering a diesel variant of the BMW X5 in the U.S.,” according to the spokesperson.
The introduction of the new G20 3 Series will see a series of petrol engines in the US, and likely followed by a PHEV in the near future.
Whether the diesel’s future has been sealed in the United States remains to be seen, but one thing is clear for now – the major premium automakers see the plug-in hybrids and EVs as the more interesting choice for customers.