BMW Approves Diesel-Powered 5 Series Sedan for U.S. Consumption
G30-Platform 5er May Receive Turbodiesel Engine for 2018 Model Year
The recently introduced BMW 5 Series sedan (G30 platform) is receiving a lot of attention from buyers and the media, thanks in part to its streamlined styling, commendable weight loss regimen, and refined interior. However, its gas-only enginehouse has been a bit of a bore to those of us who miss the old 535d from the F10 generation.
That should change soon, when BMW offers a diesel version of the newest 5er. Officially confirmed today by BMW representatives, an oil-burning 5 Series is on its way for the U.S. market, and although powertrain details and specific numbers are still mum, we’re going to make a few assumptions. Since the 5 Series diesel should hit U.S. dealers by the end of the year (first assumption), we won’t have to wait long for BMW to prove us right or wrong.
We presume the newest BMW diesel will be called the 540d, correlating with the middle-child gasoline 540i. There once was a time when the company’s naming scheme referred to engine displacement, but those days are long gone, so expect the 540d to run a 3.0L turbodiesel I-6 producing at least 260 hp and 420 lb-ft (one-upping the old 535d’s 255 hp and 413 lb-ft).
We also expect the G30-platform diesel will be lighter and leaner than the 535d. The old model crushed the pavement to the tune of 4,085 pounds, but given the G30 platform’s weight loss regimen, we expect the 540d to hit about 3,850 pounds. Aluminum doors, trunklid, and roof help the 540d count calories, as does key use of aluminum and magnesium on certain structural bits.
Thanks to that lightweighting (as well as a more modern powertrain of the same displacement), expect the 540d to improve on its predecessor’s already impressive performance and fuel efficiency. Our friends at Motor Trend were able to clock a 535d at 5.5 seconds to 60 mph and 14.2 seconds through the quarter-mile, so expect the 540d to come close to breaking 5.0 and 14.0 seconds in those respective categories. We also foresee an EPA rating of about 28 city/40 highway for the 540d.
Our final guess is a big one: price. At $57,525, the old 535d added about $1,500 to the bottom line compared to its gas-powered 535i sibling. We’ll add a couple hundred bucks to that premium (call it progress) and assume the 540d will demand about $58,150, compared to $56,450 for the 540i. And plan on BMW offering its xDrive all-wheel-drive system on the 5 Series diesel, adding $2,300 to the bottom line.
Still, for a quiet, comfortable, spacious luxury sedan that achieves close to 40 mpg on highway driving (without sacrificing straight-line speed or BMW’s typical handling prowess), that sum doesn’t seem excessive. And again, we offer our conjectures with the caveat that BMW hasn’t confirmed any details (or even the name) of the upcoming 5 Series diesel.
Since we’re all armchair-racing enthusiasts, what features would you like to see on the oil-burning 5er?