Once again the U.S. is being tantalized by powerful diesel BMWs we'll never see. You'd think that there'd be some way to get them into this country, as diesel engines are proven performers and a significant part of the European car market. It seems unlike BMW to leave money on the table, but there it is –– again.
Now BMW has announced its line of diesel-powered M Performance vehicles to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Needless to say, there are currently no plans to bring them Stateside.
BMW’s range of new M models includes the M550d xDrive Sedan, M550d xDrive Touring, X5 M50d, and the X6 M50d. All will be powered by the new 3-liter triple-turbo diesel straight six. BMW says the three turbochargers are high-pressure and utilize variable turbine geometry, which soundss very cool.
The engine also makes use of common-rail direct injection with piezo injectors, a combination good for 2200 bar maximum injection pressure. That all means 381 hp and aa monster 546 lb-ft . Peak horsepower is achieved at 4000 rpm, while max torque is available at 2000 rpm, well shy of the 5400-rpm redline.
BMW incorporated many of its Efficient Dynamics-branded technologies into the new M models, as each model gains start-stop functionality, and an efficiency-optimizing Eco Pro mode. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available, and all models will feature BMW’s xDrive system. For handling, each of the new M diesels receive unique suspension tunings with new springs and dampers. As a bonus, the M550d xDrive Touring and the X5 M50d also boast self-leveling rear air suspension.
Each M Performance model also gets subtle exterior enhancements, which include side mirrors and vent bars finished in Ferric Grey metallic, trapezoidal exhaust tips, high-gloss Shadow Line trim, and exclusive 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels.
Performance figures are equally impressive. BMW says the M550d xDrive sedan can hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, and is limited to 155 mph. Fuel economy is somewhere around 37 mpg U.S. combined, although that figure is based on EU-cycle testing. Other M diesels won’t be all that much slower: the M550d Touring sprints to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds; the X5 M50d in 5.4 seconds and the X6 M50d in 5.3 seconds.––Paul DucheneBack to News