BMW 7 Series diesel could be headed to the US
While German automakers including Audi, Mercedes Benz and BMW have long sold a wide variety of popular diesel powered passenger vehicles overseas, the stigma against these oil burners in the US have prevented most of these more diesel models from making it to the US but the tide is changing – with the newest entry proof being the planning introduction of a diesel BMW 7 Series coming as soon as next year. Car and Driver initially reported that the diesel BMW 7 Series was on its way and while BMW has refuted that claim, the company has confirmed that there is interest in sending this highly efficient diesel luxury sedan to US dealerships.
One of the key reasons that some Americans have been pleading for these diesel engines to be offered in the US is focused around fuel economy and while we don’t know enough about the possible US-bound 7 Series diesel sedans, we can make some guesses based on other diesel powered vehicles already at work on US soil. The new BMW 7 Series diesel models would likely be powered by the same 3.0L inline six cylinder diesel mill which is used to power the BMW X5 xDrive35d and these new sedans would likely be named the 735d or 740d. In this roomy sport utility vehicle, this compact diesel makes 265 horsepower and 425lb-ft of torque while (more importantly) offering 26 miles per gallon on the highway with the company’s advanced all wheel drive system. The 735d/740d would certainly be more aerodynamic than the X5 and with a real wheel drive configuration instead of all wheel drive; we would expect that the diesel 7 Series sedan would be far more efficient than the current SUV through a reduction in both weight and in drivetrain loss. Based on these factors, hitting better than 31 miles per gallon should be possible with the new diesel 7 Series – whatever they end up calling it for the US application.
The 2014 BMW 735d (or 740d) would enter the US market with a specific aim at the Mercedes Benz S350 BlueTEC sedan and the Audi A8 3.0 TDI. The Mercedes diesel sedan offers 240 horsepower and 455lb-ft of torque while achieving 31 miles per gallon on the highway. The Audi is expected to offer around 225 horsepower and 406lb-ft of torque while offering comparable fuel economy to the Mercedes Bens S350 BlueTEC (actually EPA figures for the diesel Audi have not been released). If the BMW 7 Series diesel comes with the same 3.0L engine found in the American X5, it would offer slightly more power than both the Audi and Mercedes diesel sedans while making less torque than the Benz and more torque than the Audi. Also, if the 735d/740d could top the 30mpg range, it would be right there with the other full sized German luxury sedans with diesel power.
There is also a higher performance variant of the diesel 3.0L inline six on duty in Europe which offers 308 horsepower and 454lb-ft of torque but that engine would require more emission certification than would the version already at use in American BMW models. This motor would offer more power but it would likely fall short of the less powerful variant in terms of fuel economy and while power is important – fuel economy may be the trump card.
If the new BMW 7 Series sedan is indeed going to offer a diesel variant in the US within the next 12-18 months, we should be getting more information from the German automaker soon. Stay tuned to TorqueNews for this and all of your top automotive news!
Source: Car and Driver