BMW first introduced the North American market to diesels way back in 1983, with the introduction of its 524td. Under the hood of the E28 5 Series was the automaker's M21 turbocharged diesel, a 2.4-liter inline-six rated at 115 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to a standard four-speed automatic transmission. At the time, BMW claimed it was the world's fastest production diesel-powered car, but its numbers (0-60 in about 12 seconds and a maximum speed of 112 mph) look rather pathetic today. It was sold for just one model year.

In a renewed effort to convince buyers that diesel was a sporty alternative to gasoline, BMW reintroduced a potent diesel powerplant to the States in 2009. It was the automaker's M57 twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 265 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. Mounted in the nose of the E90 3 Series sedan and mated to a six-speed automatic, the 335d helped the automaker redefine oil-burning performance (0-60 in 5.3 seconds with a top speed governed to 130 mph) here in America. The X5 35d crossover, fitted with the same engine and strong performance (0-60 in 6.9 seconds), soon followed.

But BMW doesn't really need to prove diesel's performance anymore, as fuel economy sells. With that comes the announcement of two fresh, and more efficient, oil-burning powerplants. A new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder will likely be rated at 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, while a new turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder is expected to make 255 horsepower and undisclosed torque. According to our sources, the 2.0-liter (similar to the one pictured above) will find its home in the 3 Series and X1, while the new 3.0-liter will replace the M57 under the hood of the X3 and X5 (with eight-speed gearboxes). Expect the engines to spread across the BMW lineup if well received.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is awesome, I just wish BMW would be more proactive and introduce this when the X1 comes here in the nxt few months...a 40+mpg AWD CUV would be at the top of my list
      autobahngerman
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's about time they become more active with these diesels. I think diesel technology has more hope than hybrid or electric at this point. Emissions are lower and economy is higher. A win win. Check http://www.autobahnbmwparts.com for a comparison.
      JamesJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      A few years ago Autoblog posted an article about 2 liter diesel engine that BMW was about to make that had 200 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. I wonder what happen to that engine?
        mkM3
        • 3 Years Ago
        @JamesJ
        Oh that engine exists, alright. In fact, they have since its arrival, they have upgraded it for even more power. Check out bmw.com and look at the technical specs for the X1 xDrive25d and 525d. Both use this engine in its latest form. It makes 218hp and 332ft-lbs. We won't see this in the US though - I don't think it will meet our emissions standards.
      Ak74
      • 3 Years Ago
      So many people were complaining that these awesome engines never on sale in the states. Well I hope you all happy now because you got it ;)
        TomM
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ak74
        thanks ,so I am coming back to Bimmer ,right now I had to buy 2013 VW Golf with 2.0 Diesel ,but I would like to change my other car as well,please do it next year!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Ak74
      • 3 Years Ago
      BMW has confirmed that two diesel engines will be making their way to the US. One is a 2.0L single-turbo twinscroll 4 cylinder direct injection diesel engine outputting 180 HP and 280 LB-FT torque, the same stats as the N47 engine which currently powers the F30 320d and F10 520d. As for consumption and performance, the 320d, for example, achieves an impressive 52.2 combined MPG (US) (40.5 city / 61.8 hwy), with a factory claimed 7.1 secs 0-60 mph. The other diesel will be a 3.0L twinscroll 6 cylinder turbo outputting 255 HP (no official torque number yet, but expect 400+ lb-ft torque). This will be an all new engine not seen before in any other models. These engines will be paired with 8 speed automatics and make use of SCR technology (urea based "selective catalyst reduction") to meet the stringent US diesel emission standards. BMW has not yet confirmed which models will receive these engines (nor when), but the 4-cylinder may see duty in a future 220d, 320d, 520d (or perhaps labeled for the NA market as 225d, 325d, 525d), while the 6-cylinder will power models labeled 25d, 30d, or 35d, as well as their counterparts in the xDrive models. No matter the nomenclature, this is wonderful news for the BMW's NA customers! The F30 3 Series lineup will likely be the first models to use the new engines.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Ak74
        [blocked]
      A P
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The improved efficiency of diesel engines can also help reduce oil consumption. It should be noted, however, that it takes about 25% more oil to make a gallon of diesel fuel than a gallon of gasoline, so we should really look at how a vehicle does on fuel efficiency in terms of "oil equivalents." Thus, we need to adjust the mileage claims for diesel vehicles downward by about 20% when comparing them to gasoline-powered vehicles." So if you figure in a %20 reduction in MPGs then diesel is stupid for cars.....it is a dead end for cars.
        AcidTonic
        • 3 Years Ago
        @A P
        No, because the price of diesel is not 20% more. Gas: $3.65 Diesel: $3.80 Does that look like 20% more to you? So clearly it's cheaper for us at the VERY least.
          atc98092
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AcidTonic
          A P simply has a bent against diesel. My guess is he reads only things that say what he wants to hear and has never even driven a diesel car. If he has, it wasn't a modern diesel.
        A P
        • 3 Years Ago
        @A P
        I never said modern diesels dont drive great....and I never will. What I am saying is that they have virtually no economic reasons to buy for cars and that they pollute a lot more. It is a fact.
      A P
      • 3 Years Ago
      The reaction to the truth about diesels is quite telling....the lemmings are busy googling sites to try and see if any of the facts I am talking about can be disputed.....and they cant. I think that many are actually surprised that they have been so misled about diesel tech for cars. We simple dont need more soot in the air just so that auto journalist can rave about diesel station wagons.
        H
        • 3 Years Ago
        @A P
        AP Who do you work for? BP? Exxon/Mobil? Hah!! Your are misleading as have so many who are on oil companies payroll.
          A P
          • 3 Years Ago
          @H
          LOL figures. Cant face the truth so you try and change the attack.
        k_m94
        • 3 Years Ago
        @A P
        I'll take some microscopic amount of soot with 40-50 real world mpg (in a compact wagon, not bulky crossover), meaty passing power on demand, and lots of low end torque to waft around on. Great for a reasonably entertaining family runabout. And to complement turbocharged diesels with low rpm, the weekend car can be a revvy free breathing petrol powered sportscar. When I want to be truly green, a bike for short trips. Sue me.
      A P
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lets hope they are not well received since diesels are a poor choice for cars since they are NOT more economical in the long run and simple pollute more. "Making a gallon of diesel fuel requires 25% more oil and emits 17% more heat-trapping greenhouse gases than gasoline reformulated with MTBE. Similarly, diesel requires 17% more oil and emits 18% more heat-trapping gases than gasoline reformulated with ethanol. This means that diesel fuel's advantages from its higher per-gallon energy content and better performance on greenhouse gases are partially offset by the impact of diesel's fuel-production process." SO with the extra cost at the pump and the extra cost for the engine option, one will have to drive hundreds of thousands of miles to break even.
        atc98092
        • 3 Years Ago
        @A P
        And you don't know what you're talking about. Today's diesels are actually cleaner than gas engines with the exception of NOx. However, there is a large contingency of environmental scientists that feel NOx actually reduces more harmful airborne contaminants. Modern automobile diesels simply do not polute more than gas engines. Yes, it takes more oil to make a gallon of diesel compared to gas, but that is a refinery decision, and can be adjusted as demand requires. Since 1 gallon of diesel contains more energy that a gallon of gas, that partically makes up for it. With a diesel engine being from 30-50% more econonical than a gas engine, you again get more bank for the buck. Most modern diesels actually have a payback in 2-3 years. In fact, Mercedes sells diesels for the same cost as the gas engines, so payback begins immediately.
          A P
          • 3 Years Ago
          @atc98092
          WRONG....here are some FACTS about diesel emissions": "Because of their lower per-mile fuel consumption, diesel engines generally release less carbon dioxide—the heat-tapping gas primarily responsible for global warming—from the tailpipe. So that's a check on the good side of the pollution chart. But when it comes to smog-forming pollutants and toxic particulate matter, also known as soot, today's diesels are still a lot dirtier than the average gasoline car." The thing that creates the most SMOG is what diesels spew......SOOT (duh) Nice try.\ There is no refinery "decision" in how to produce diesel fuel . Please produce some links to back that up....... How do you get that diesels are "30-50%" more economical??????? What kind of math are you using? Please provide the formula for that bit of magic. "In fact, Mercedes sells diesels for the same cost as the gas engines, so payback begins immediately.' HUH????? E350 $50,400 e350Blutec $51,690 (MB website) If you are talking about Europe then that is different, but in the US (which we are talking about) there sure as hell IS a price difference. This is a great example of how mis informed people really are about diesels. The auto mag industry is deliberately distorting the actual facts. Its a shame.
        k_m94
        • 3 Years Ago
        @A P
        Just shut the **** up, your bias renders the tiniest modicum of truth in any of your posts irrelevent. It looks like we need a hater/fanboy/troll for just about every topic ever covered on Autoblog. Diesel, electric, hybrid, European, Asian, American, FWD, RWD, AWD, turbocharging, transmissions, supercars, ethics, political correctness, speeding, government intervention, the environment, technology progression, conspiracy theorists, and the spattering of political cagefights that worm their way in. Why must the same people say the same thing over and over again when they know they are unappreciated? You aren't doing anybody a service, believe it or not, so quit trying so hard. If you want my opinion, the real answer is ditching fossil fuels for biofuels, seeing that there's only so much prehistoric Earth left to dig, pump, and burn, but the internal combustion engine is a fascinating and brilliant species of dinosaur that is endearing to many enthusiasts. About time we get some proper biogasoline and biodiesel made from algae or the like. Until then, gasoline and diesel are both harming the environment in different ways, so why not give the option of both to those who want it? If you're so worried of diesel turning American city skylines into black sooty apocalypse, don't worry because the take rate woulf still be a slim couple of percent even with 2 very good new engines available.
          k_m94
          • 3 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          Not exactly. You just say the same thing again and again (like a dozen times this post) and while I recognize some of the side effects of using the black stuff, you just cover your ears and go "LALALALALALALALALA" when presented with at least equally relevent scientific and real world proof in diesel's favor. You have posted chunks of scientific reports claiming the dangers of diesel pollution (how old is your source, does it take into effect the widening use of ultra low sulfur diesel, and vastly improving filtration systems?) and others have posted scientific research that puts the common belief of "dirty diesel" to the test with more accurate testing procedures and latest health reports on inhaled particle sizes. So the crux of your argument that you consider fundamental scientific proof is under debate (by scientists, not us commenters), and the rest is misguided, taken out of context, inflated using the worst figures you could procure, or plain bull. Everyone else's practical arguments: stellar EPA rating crushing efficiency, lower overall running costs, very usable torque curve (plain 4 cylinder power is more bearable day to day with V6 torque from above idle) are harder to deny. So I tell you to shut up because if what you are saying is repetitive whether or not it's wrong, and another few dozen cut and paste jobs will not be missed. Also, be nice and don't call a vast online community full of people you don't know anything about "lemmings" just because they all seem to agree on something you don't.
          A P
          • 3 Years Ago
          @k_m94
          Ahhh I see now. Since you know you are wrong you would just prefer me to shut up so you dont have to face the fact that the BS you believe in is wrong? LOL Dream on. Diesels suck for cars and so do the boobs promoting them.
      A P
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Diesel does have a slight advantage over gasoline in the first two categories. But UCS modeling suggests that diesel's tough pollution-control challenges and the high up-front cost of engines and emission controls for diesel vehicles gives gasoline technology the edge overall. That means there is no mandate to bring back diesel in a big way—gasoline-powered cars, particularly gasoline-electric hybrids, are likely the best way to go."
      A P
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am not saying that diesel cars dont drive great...I have driven them and they are fine. I prefer gas engines for the easy revving and feel. I am also not saying that diesel is not a great option for light trucks and SUVs that need the towing or hauling capacity. What I AM saying is that a big increase of diesel cars is the wrong way to go. They are not needed for cars. They are not any more efficient when all things are taken into consideration. IF and WHEN they are as clean as gas engines (which they are not as of now) they will have ZERO economy gains over gas. I dont think they should be outlawed or anything, I think the market should decide. BUT I think that people should know the ENTIRE truth about diesel, not the propaganda that comes out of sites and auto mags like this. You can tell the anger that is produced when the truth is exposed. I am not sure why people think they need 300lbft of torque for there compact sedan however. Let the market decide, BUT make sure people have ALL of the info (not just what the auto mags want you to see). The reaction to the truth on this site shows that there is a certain element that gets angry when the truth is exposed. Some are so desperate to get their way that they will not tolerate any other options. Those are the people that need serious mental help.
        montoym
        • 3 Years Ago
        @A P
        quote - "The reaction to the truth on this site shows that there is a certain element that gets angry when the truth is exposed. Some are so desperate to get their way that they will not tolerate any other options. Those are the people that need serious mental help." - Please, by all means take your own advice. Do you not see that you are exactly what you claim so many others here are? You can't stand that there are facts that counter everything you've stated and you just keep yelling louder and louder and more frequently hoping to be heard. You are tolerating no one else's opinion on the matter if it even remotely disagrees with you. You are the one who needs help.
        TomM
        • 2 Years Ago
        @A P
        I really like to comment to your post ,you probably never had a diesel car,they are better than gas engines,I had golf 2008 gas, great car ,dont get me wrong,but with 14 gallons in one tank get me only for 280 miles cost me around $53 ,now with my 2013 Golf Diesel with same $53 getting 480 miles ,great savings ,less stops to get gas ,less burning of the fuel as well ,dont you see it???? ,it is not about tourque only,definetly green car,cant wait when they will come with 2.0 diesel in Bimmers ,that will be my other car ,europe getting smaller diesels since 1996 and finally we got it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      The Wasp
      • 3 Years Ago
      This sounds smart if they can get good fuel economy (I'm not judging, just cautious to see how the actual EPA ratings end up). On the other hand, I imagine there are many X1 drivers who won't know the implications of putting gasoline in the tank.
        David
        • 3 Years Ago
        @The Wasp
        Different, clearly-marked color code and different nozzle sizes. It'd be rather difficult to make that mistake, especially for the owner of the car.
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