BMW still sees a future for diesel engines in the United States.
Volkswagen's diesel fiasco unfairly gave all oil-burning engines a bad reputation. BMW remains committed to the technology, and the company has confirmed it will introduce a diesel-powered variant of the new 5 Series in the United States for the 2018 model year.
The model will be known as the 540d, but technical specifications haven't been released yet. However, Car & Driver speculates the 540d will be nearly identical to the 530d sold on the other side of the pond.
If that's accurate, power will come from a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine tuned to develop at least 262 horsepower and a generous 457 pound-feet of torque. The six-cylinder will send its power to the 5's rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system will be offered at an extra cost.
The last diesel-burning 5 Series sold here was the 535d, which returned 30 mpg in a combined cycle. The Euro-spec 530d is 13 percent more efficient than its predecessor, so it stands to reason the 540d will return over 30 mpg.
Full details about the 2018 BMW 540d will emerge in the coming months, and the diesel-burning sedan will arrive in showrooms nationwide before the end of the year.
In the U.S., the 540d will be the only diesel-slurping member of the 5 Series lineup. We're not getting the smaller four-cylinder engines, and it sounds like M550d xDrive's quad-turbocharged six won't make the trip across the Atlantic.