BMW believes in diesel: 540d confirmed for US market

2017 BMW 5-Series

2017 BMW 5-Series

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Volkswagen has done a bang-on job at making diesel a dirty word, but BMW isn't counting it out quite yet. A BMW spokesperson has confirmed an all-new 5-Series diesel will be arriving in the United States this year.

Car and Driver reports the diesel-powered 5-Series will take the 540d name, and it will join the 3-Series, X3, and X5 as BMW's latest diesel-powered vehicle. The confirmation of the 540d is all BMW was willing to dish out, and it will save specifics for a later date.

However, it's likely the 540d will feature the 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6, which powers the similar 530d in Europe. There, it makes 262 horsepower and a burly 457 pound-feet of torque. The "540" nomenclature may mean the U.S. is in for more power and torque, though.

Looking to the past, the last 5-series diesel, the 535d, delivered a respectable 30 mpg combined rating, but BMW says the latest engine offers a 13 percent improvement in efficiency. Therefore, it's plausible the 540d will provide more power and be even more frugal. That's never a bad thing.

The 2018 5-Series was revealed with an ever-so-slight nip/tuck earlier this year, but the major changes happen underneath. Efficient powertrains such as iPerformance plug-in and lightweight construction help define the latest generation of BMW's mid-size luxury car. Let's not forget the most anticipated 5-Series yet to come: the all-new M5. That brute is expected to arrive with a twin-turbo V-8 engine and all-wheel-drive.

As for the 540d oil burner, we'll likely see it arrive later this year to join the expanding 5-Series family for the 2018 model year. Just don't expect the recently revealed 550d to make its way stateside, sadly.

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