A BMW insider has foretold the German carmaker’s plans for the introduction of its diesel range in North America for the first time. BMW will make its official announcement pertaining to its US diesel strategy at this month’s L.A. Motor Show, with the oil-burners expected to hit showrooms by the end of 2008. The first diesels to be sold are likely to be the 535d sedan and possible touring models, followed by 3-series variants and a diesel version of the new X5.

The problem lies in the fact that 85% of BMW sales are in the five key US states that are toughest on emissions. Further, the standards are about to get tougher with a 30% reduction law to go into effect by 2009. BMW currently uses active urea injection and particulate filters to clean up its diesel emissions, but new technologies utilizing vanadium or zeolites will also help curb emissions.

BMW has some catching up to do. Main rival Mercedes Benz already has a range of diesels motors it dubs BLUETEC that’s compliant in all 50 states and is pegged to start sales in March next year. Audi is also expected to make an announcement, this time at the Detroit show, about its diesel models using Volkswagen’s TDI family of engines for a planned introduction in 2008.

[Source: Winding Road]