BMW will sell a diesel four-cylinder engine in North America. In an interview with InsideLine, BMW NA’s VP of engineering, Tom Baloga, said that the 4-cylinder would arrive in the 3 Series and possibly in the 5 Series as well, with both the X3 and X5 also strong possibilities. Baloga also said that contrary to previous reports, not all new diesel BMWs will be all-wheel drive.
The engine in question will be a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel motor, which BMW has recently made impressive performance and fuel mileage gains with. In the 320d Efficient Dynamics vehicle release a few months ago at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the diesel 3 Series makes 163-hp and 265 ft-lbs of torque, while achieving 57 mpg!
BMW’s plan is to bring diesel cars up from essentially nothing (with the 335d) to 10-20 percent of its U.S. sales volume.
Baloga didn’t give any dates, but the 4-cylinder diesel BMW seems several years off yet, as the German automaker insists it must be as quiet as a six-cylinder, yet deliver the same performance and better fuel economy. To achieve the performance level, BMW plans to reduce the weight of its vehicles. Currently, one of the biggest problems facing the project is the expensive emissions systems required to make diesel’s meet U.S. (California) emissions standards.
Still, Baloga is confident. “Our four-cylinder diesel will be so good that people will readily accept it as a replacement for six-cylinders,” he said.
GALLERY: BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics