• Nov 24th 2008 at 5:59PM
  • 17
Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2009 BMW 7 Series

While we were visiting with BMW at the LA Auto Show, the automaker made a big deal about its diesel engines, suggesting that the oil-burners would be an alternative to hybrids in the United States just as they are in European countries. Although it wasn't initially in the plans for the U.S. market, BMW of America is getting some pressure from its dealerships to bring a diesel version of its range-topping 7 Series sedan, completely redesigned for 2009 and equipped with a twin-turbo 4.4L V8. That's an impressive engine no doubt, but after getting a drive in the Euro-market 730d, some dealers didn't even realize there was a different powerplant underhood. That bodes well for future diesels from BMW.

Soon, the Bavarian automaker will import diesel versions of its 3 Series and X5 utility vehicle with a twin-turbo six cylinder engine. On average, a diesel-powered Bimmer is about 20-25% more efficient than its gasoline-fed sibling, so diesels make sense both for consumers looking to lower their fuel bills and also manufacturers needing to adjust their CAFE fuel mileage statistics. In other words, it may be more surprising if an automaker like BMW didn't announce that it was working on more diesel engines for America.

Gallery: 2009 BMW 750Li

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Do it, as most people won't notice the difference (aside from high cost of diesel in US/higher efficiency).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dont see why diesel hasnt caught on here in the states yet. Sure it is an expensive option and diesel tends to be more expensive but I think a lot of people miss the reliability mark. Diesel engines and their components are built better and stronger then their gasoline counterparts. It'd be a wise decision for somebody looking to hold onto the vehicle for a long time or put some mileage on it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The last was weird. This one has no character. Come on BMW. You guys really need to find a middle ground.

      It's 'stately' but it won't turn heads like a S-Class.
        • 6 Years Ago
        couldn't agree with you more. I'm a little disappointed with this new 7 series. maybe it'll look better in person. I liked the last gen. 7 because even though it polarized people's emotions with its look, no one could ever say it was "boring." To me, a BMW should never be boring. I'd most likely take a BMW with an ugly feature over a BMW that can blend in with the Acuras of the world
      • 6 Years Ago
      I didn't think it could get any more awkward-looking than the previous one, but boy, was I wrong. That bulbous, unshapely front makes it the ugliest 7 series to date for me - which makes it a top contender for ugliest BMW ever.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Can't agree with you more.

        Looks like a big pig with that front end. I think if the kidneys were smaller that this might actually be a decent looking car but until then.
        This little piggy went to market
        This little piggy stayed home
        This little piggy had roast beef
        This little piggy had none
        This little piggy went wewewewewewe all the way home.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Diesel fuel is still usually over $1+ more expensive than premium gasoline. These BMW diesels in addition are $2-3K more expensive, and even with the fuel efficiency, you are likely breaking even, or more likely faring worse on the savings equation in the long run.

      It would make perfect sense if Diesel fuel was subsidized here and made cheaper than regular gasoline, as is the case in Europe, sometimes significantly, in order to really make it worth while to buy a more expensive diesel vehicle.

      As of now, if you buy a BMW diesel based on perceived savings, you are simply a moron. If you buy it because you like driving diesel cars and you enjoy the torque or you want to be kinder to the environment or whatever, and you realize you will be pay a premium over a gas powered version in the long run, more power to you.

      But let's not kid ourselves, unless the price of diesel drops substantially in relation to gasoline, diesel BMWs will be a novelty in the US.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Besides, remember when diesel was significantly cheaper than regular? Just before people started talking about moving some small, efficient diesels into the 'States, come to think about it. Hmm...

        Seriously, the only reason its more expensive, even if you listen to the oil company's reasons, is because of refinery capacity. Fix that bottleneck, and the prices should get back in line.

        Besides, even if it got the same miles-per-dollar (and from my personal experience, you're still better off with the oil-burner), you're gaining longevity and also a bigger fuel tank (when measured in miles), which buys convenience. That's worth something, too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's very true, so I hope the improved fuel economy over the gasoline versions will help to offset (at least a little bit) the higher diesel prices in the US.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "These BMW diesels in addition are $2-3K more expensive"

        The 730d is significantly cheaper than the 750i. (69,500€ for the 730d vs. 90,000 for the 750i) In Europe, more than 80% of all E65 7-series were 730d.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is that the chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk in the back of the picture?

      I mean, I knew the Dutch are the tallest nation on Earth, but not THAT tall...
      • 6 Years Ago
      After watching Top Gear, I want a Jaguar XJ TDV6 :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm still surprised that BMW hasn't imported a twin turbo gas I6 version yet as 300 horsepower should be plenty to move one of these.

      Maybe they will when gas prices inch up again and fuel efficient motors (gas and diesel both) become necessary for car buyers again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually its more powerful!!! In the 7, the 3.0TT's power output is 326 horses and 332 lb-ft -- enough to hustle the 740Li from 0 to 62 mph in six seconds flat.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Gas is $1.60 a gallon here (Houston). Diesel is $2.70/gallon or almost 70% more!!!!!! and supposedly diesel costs less to refine than gas.

      I cant understand why and even more I cant understand why there isnt more of a public outcry.

      I think they are simply raping people bec they have determined that they can get away with it on diesel.
      • 6 Years Ago
      With diesel fuel running 60-70% more than gasoline, as 20-25% economy improvement will not move many customers.
      As for the "built like a diesel" argument, it's bogus. It stems from the 18 wheelers, which are built tough, but are so because they need to be. An automotive diesel needs only be tough enough to deal with the increased compression ratio and added torque. Why would any of the other components be made longer lasting than those of their gasoline cars? No reason whatsoever.
      Big oil in the US saw a threat and has taken steps to address it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Diesel may have more of a chance if/when the US finally follows the EU in promoting CO2-emissions reductions through progressive vehicle-registration fees.

      Want to drive a fast, thirsty car? Great, but you'll pay more than someone who deliberately chooses the smallest/least CO2-emitting one.

      Fuel costs and such car taxes are the principal drivers of car-makers offering MANY more gas/diesel engine options for all cars they offer. What average driver wouldn't find 190 lb/ft of torque sufficient?

      I drive a diesel (TDI), not because I want to save money, but because I want to use as little petroleum as possible.
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