File this under “It’s about frickin’ time!”, but it looks like BMW is finally bringing some of their diesel engines over to The New World. This is something that the Bavarians have long implied but, BMW has finally revealed that four-cylinder diesels will be part of the German automaker\’s U.S. plans.
BMW of North America’s vice president of engineering Tom Baloga, told Edmunds that BMW is planning on bringing their four-cylinder diesel engines to the U.S. sometime next decade. Most likely, the diesel will first debut in the 3-Series, but it might eventually be applied to the X3 and X5, and possibly even the 5-Series.
“Our four-cylinder diesel will be so good that people will readily accept it as a replacement for six-cylinders. The target is to produce enough horsepower to be comparable [in performance] to our N54/N55 six-cylinder turbos,” Baloga said concerning questions about a four cylinder oil-burner being dropped into a five series.
The U.S. bound version of BMW\’s four-cylinder diesel will most likely be based on the 2.0 liter plant that was recently launched in the European-only 320d. In that guise, the 320d is capable of returning nearly 60mpg. An impressive figure, since the 3 series isn’t exactly a light weight any longer.
The other implied tidbit concerning BMW’s diesel intentions for America is that the cars won’t come cheap. BMW says that the diesel will continue to command a premium in the BMW lineup, as seen by the 335d.
OK, that’s fair enough as far as it goes. Sure, I suppose rich people won’t really mind, and I don’t really mind either. But like I started off saying, this is really one of those “about time” deals. Yes, I can understand that BMW doesn’t want to dilute their performance image, which diesels might have a tendency to do, and I also realize that there has been trouble getting Americans to accept diesels as readily as their European counterparts … but still, it’s off the shelf technology, and BMW (and every other can manufacturer) should be bringing them in as fast as they can.