BMW on Tuesday released fuel-economy and pricing details for its upcoming diesel versions of the 3-series and X5. The diesels will be shown at the Los Angeles auto show next week, ahead of their launch in the U.S. market.
The sedan, badged the 335d, is rated at 23 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway, bettering original estimates. It will cost $44,725, including destination charges when it arrives in December.
The X5 xDrive35d is rated at 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. It will sticker at $52,025, including destination when it arrives in January.
BMW estimates the sedan will be able to travel 560 miles on a tank of fuel, while the X5 will have a range of 585 miles.
BMW calls its diesel technology BluePerformance, and it uses urea injection to cut emissions. Both vehicles share the same twin-turbo, 3.0-liter I6 powerplant that makes 265 hp. As with many diesels, the performance comes from the delivery of plenty of torque--the engine is rated at 425 lb-ft, nearly the same as BMW's vaunted V12.
The big torque is expected to help the vehicles post respectable 0-to-60 mph times, with the 335d hitting it in six seconds and the X5 diesel checking with a time of 6.9 seconds.
BMW is joining fellow German automakers Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which are betting heavily on diesel technology as one solution for fuel economy. BMW says 67 percent of the vehicles it sells in Europe have diesel powerplants.
Want a diesel X5? The sticker price starts at $52,025.
Though diesels have long been a favorite in Europe, automakers have faced an uphill battle in trying to convince American consumers that diesels aren't noisy, smelly or dirty--preconceived notions built up over years of experiencing commercial and work vehicles on the roads.
The challenge of selling diesels to the public grows as the vehicles are about to launch in an environment in which fuel prices have recently dropped dramatically. BMW argues that even though diesel fuel is roughly 15 percent more expensive than premium gasoline right now, diesel is 30 percent more efficient.
Tax credits will be $900 for the 335d and $1,550 for the X5 diesel.
BMW execs left open the possibility of expanding the diesel technology to other engines and vehicles, though they wouldn't specify. They're gauging the launch of the 335d and X5 diesel before committing, but an X6 and 7-Series diesels are the likely next candidates.
In a nod to a shift in consumers' preferences for disseminating news--and to save time--BMW showed the vehicles with an auto-show style press conference on the Web, showcasing the products while also playing host to a roundtable of executives.
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