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After months of rumors and speculation, BMW has made its new 3.0L six-cylinder, inline diesel engine official, packing what they’re calling M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology, which is a misnomer since it sports three turbochargers. The system works by using two smaller turbos to deliver more responsive power down low in the rpm range, with a large turbo to add top-end thrust.
The new diesel powerplant will put out 381-hp and 546 lb-ft of torque, exactly the same specs that have been rumored for months now. It also features BMW EfficientDynamics technology, including Auto Start-Stop function and ECO PRO mode.
The M Performance diesel models announced are the M550d xDrive sedan, M550d xDrive Touring, X5 M50d and X6 M50d. And as we stated in the title, none of these models will be making their way to America. All models will come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Performance figures for the M Performance diesel models are impressive across the board, with the M550d xDrive Sedan reporting a 0-62 mph time of just 4.7-seconds while the Touring model comes in at 4.9-seconds. The X5 M50d will hit 62-mph in just 5.4-seconds while the X6 M50d is a tad quicker at 5.3-seconds. What is even more impressive is that the M550d will average around 44-mpg while the X5 M50d will do 37.7-mpg and the X6 M50d will do 36.7-mpg.
And of course, with all these vehicles now sporting an M Performance badge on them, owners will get M-specific tuning of suspension, bodyshell mounting, engine and transmission mounting, springs and dampers, all standard and optional chassis control systems, and the Servotronic mapping for the hydraulic steering.
No pricing was announced for these European-only M Performance diesel models, but AutoGuide will be sure to check them out in person when they make their official debt at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
GALLERY: BMW M550d
GALLERY: BMW X5 M50d and X6 M50d
BMW has confirmed that it will offer a diesel version of its new 5 Series luxury sedan in North America. What isn’t clear is when BMW plans to launch the vehicle, or which diesel engine will be offered.
The decision would seem to be a clear cut one, with BMW currently using its twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six engine in both the X5 xDrive35d and 335d, where in both cases it makes 265-hp and 425 ft-lbs of torque. It also gets an impressive 36-mpg highway on the 335d. BMW does offer a less-powerful sing-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six in Europe, which is unlikely.
But according to InsideLine, as the 5 Series diesel isn’t slated to arrive for at least a few years and so several possibilities emerge. First, BMW could merge the two diesel sixes into one unit, with slightly more power and improved fuel economy than the current twin-turbo unit. There’s also speculation of a diesel 4-cylinder. As unlikely as it is, BMW offers the new 5 Series as a 520d model in Europe, with an incredible 47-mpg highway rating.
In addition to the 5 Series, BMW will also launch another diesel model in the U.S. in the coming years, although BMW officials would not comment on what that would be. (We’re thinking X1 or X3).