Out on the show floor at Cobo Hall today, I spoke to Daniel Kammerer of BMW about their diesel and hybrid plans. Mr. Kammerer is Head of Alternative Drive Trains, Technical Communications for BMW. BMW has a joint development agreement with DaimlerChrysler and General Motors for a two-mode hybrid system. While General Motors has been prominently displaying hybrid Chevy Tahoes and GMC Yukons here and at other shows, BMW has said nothing about their plans for what vehicles will use the hybrid system, or when.

Mr. Kammerer explained that BMW will be about two to three years behind their partners in introducing the system. The reason for the delay is that as a premium car maker, BMW is working to ensure a greater level of refinement and transparency in the operation of the system. The full system, particularly the blending of the regenerative braking with friction braking must be transparent to the driver. Unlike GM and DCX, who are applying the hybrid system to existing vehicles, BMW will first be installing it on a new unique vehicle. Although he would not comment on what vehicle, something like the rumored X6 cross-over seems like a likely candidate and might fit in with the timing. The diesel discussion continues after the jump.

Finally, he also clarified some information about BMW's diesel plans. BMW diesels will be available for sale in 2008 in the US market. There has been some confusion about the emissions control technology being used. Prior to the Los Angeles Auto Show, it had been announced the BMW would join Volkswagen group in using the Mercedes BlueTec technology. At Los Angeles, BMW said that they would not be selling BlueTec. In fact, they are using the same type of particulate filter and urea injection system. They have just decided not to use the BlueTec brand name.

This is apparently because there are actually several different versions of BlueTec, not all of which use the urea system, and BMW wanted to avoid customer confusion. However, it seems likely that BMW was also not to keen on using a brand name so closely associated with their arch-rival from Stuttgart. Regardless of what they choose to call it, the more such systems we get on the road here, the better. Finally, I asked about the service interval for replenishing the urea supply. Mr. Kammerer explained that the tank is sized to provide sufficient urea to ensure that it only needs to be filled at the normal 25,000 km (15,000 mile) service interval. Later on, an Audi representative confirmed that the urea should last 25,000-30,000 km depending on driving conditions.

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