The BMW 335d will command about $2,500 more than a comparably outfitted petrol 3-series

The BMW 335d will command about $2,500 more than a comparably outfitted petrol 3-series

BMW’s first U.S. diesel was spotted testing earlier this year in California’s Death Valley in the form of a slightly disguised 3-series sedan packing a twin-turbo 3.0L straight-six oil-burner. The new diesel is the 2009 335d sedan, which is set to arrive at the end of the year as part of the facelifted 3-series range. The diesel version of the X5, the xDrive35d, will also be making its debut, and official U.S. pricing for both of the diesels was announced during a webcast today.

The 335d will start at $44,725, a premium of about $2,500 over a similarly-equipped automatic transmission 3-series sedan. The X5 diesel gains a bit more of a premium, starting at $52,025, or about $4,500 more than a base xDrive30i gasoline-fueled model. Both are eligible for federal tax credits, however - $900 in the case of the 335d and $1,550 in the case of the X5.

While BMW has been offering diesel vehicles in Europe since 1983, where the more fuel-efficient option accounts for 67% of the carmaker’s sales, low demand for this type of engine in North America has put BMW off from importing them until now.

First announced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the new 335d destined for North America will feature the same twin-turbocharged 3.0L engine as European models but will develop a slightly lower output of 265hp (198kW) and a V8-beating 425 lb-ft (575Nm) of torque – European spec cars develop 286hp (213kW) and 428lb-ft (580Nm) of torque.

Expect to see the 0-60mph sprint completed in around 6.2 seconds and fuel-economy levels at 23mpg (10.2L/100km) in the city and 33mpg (7.1L/100km) on the highway.

New front and rear fascias, a new grille, redesigned air intakes and brake ducts, updated fog lights and a new, more flowing hood design mark the list of changes expected for the new 2009 model 3-series. You can read more details about the facelift in our previous story by clicking here.