2008 Detroit Auto Show: 2008 Diesel BMW X5 xDrive35d, 335d
- Competes with: Mercedes-Benz M320 Bluetec, E320 Bluetec
- Looks like: Identical to the X5 and 335, besides what’s under the hood
- Drivetrain: 265 horsepower, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder
- Hits dealerships: Late 2008
It seems luxury automakers are hopping on the diesel bandwagon long before everyone else. Instead of affordable, high-mileage diesel engines showing up in high-volume models, BMW — like Mercedes before it — is bringing clean diesel to two of its most popular models.
Both the X5 and 3 Series will get a 265 horsepower, 425 pounds-feet-of-torque six-cylinder diesel engine capable of 0-62 mpg in 6.2 seconds. That’s accompanied by a fuel economy of 23/33 mpg city/highway. We like all that torque, but most Americans are looking to diesels for savings at the pump. A gasoline powered 335i gets 17/26 mpg in comparison. That’s roughly 30% better, but the numbers still won’t impress too many greenies. To be fair, a Mercedes E320 Bluetec gets 23/32 mpg. And BMW’s tagline for the effort is “The world’s most sporting inline-six diesel,” so they’re obviously aiming at those torque fans.
For those who remember the old-fashioned diesels of the 1970s and 1980s, BMW delivers this bit about how clean the new diesels are: They’ll emit just 1% of the particulates of a 1983 BMW diesel model. They also meet the most stringent pollution laws, like those in California.
We’ll have more on the two models at the Detroit auto show in two weeks.