America may be short on diesel-powered cars now, but BMW appears ready to fix that. Leaked plans suggest that the company is launching diesel engines across its entire lineup, starting with the 3 Series sedan in spring 2013, followed by the 3 Series sport wagon later in the year. The BMW 5 Series sedan will also get a diesel engine, as will the X5 (which is already available in a diesel version). In 2014, the 7 Series and the X3 will receive diesel engines as well, filling out the lineup.
BMW has offered diesel engines in the U.S. for a several years, but they haven’t found too many takers, as people connect the motors with big, smoky trucks or rattly old Peugeot and Mercedes taxis. Americans also have bitter memories of GM's half-baked idea to try and "convert" gas-powered V8s to diesel injection in the 1980s. Now it looks like BMW is ready to make a big play in the U.S., corresponding with plans to bring a diesel Mini here as well.
Interest in diesel engines is on the rise, and BMW is well-positioned to take a lead in the market. Diesel engines have long been popular in Europe, where their excellent mileage helps balance fuel prices typically three times the cost of fuel in the U.S. The Europeans have never been too thrilled with the idea of hybrids, seeing them as an unreasonably complicated stop-gap measure. Diesel engines combine excellent torque with equally good fuel economy, and exceptional durability, which seems like a winning combination.––Paul DucheneBack to News