In a statement to Autoblog, a BMW spokesperson confirmed that the brand is focusing on PHEVs in favor of diesels. "BMW of North America has seen a decrease in diesel sales and at the same time has seen dramatic sales growth for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology and strong demand for performance oriented gasoline engines."
The curbing of BMW diesels comes quite abruptly after the introduction of the 2018 540d xDrive, rendering that particular car a single model year oddity. Sales of the 540d only begun in February, meaning the 261-horsepower, 457 pound-foot diesel sedan will only have been available for a few months. The X5's optional diesel engine is the same unit, while the 328d's power plant is a two-liter four cylinder with 180 horsepower.
The 2019 BMW X5 will have two variants: xDrive 40i and xDrive 50i. Come 2021, an X5 plug-in hybrid will combine a three-liter straight-six to electrified tech offering 40 miles of electric range, up from the 14 miles it can currently manage. "At this time BMW of North America is not planning on offering a diesel variant of the BMW X5 in the U.S.," according to the spokesperson.
When the 328d goes, it will be the last diesel car available in the U.S. from a German brand. Mercedes-Benz, a carmaker that has sometimes been considered near-synonymous with diesel, offered no 2018 model year diesel cars in the United States. Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have also done away with diesel-powered offerings. Porsche's diesel engines available in the Cayenne were provided by Volkswagen.
But BMW diesel fans do have a ray of hope shining through this dark announcement. According to the spokesperson, "BMW of North America continues to monitor customer preferences and is prepared to adjust the product portfolio accordingly." So, if diesel demand ever comes back, BMW is prepared to meet it.