We'll stop short of saying diesel has been resurrected, but reports of the oil-burner's demise may have been premature.
This month, the EPA certified for sale the 2018 BMW 540d xDrive and rated the diesel-powered sedan at 26 mpg city, 36 highway, 30 combined. It will go on sale in the U.S. in February and cost $62,995, including destination.
A spokeswoman for BMW didn't confirm specifications for the 3.0-liter inline-6 turbodiesel, but the U.S.-bound 540d should closely resemble the 530d sold in other parts of the world. The 530d makes 265 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque and its engine is closely related to the 3.0-liter turbodiesel found under the hood of the X5d, which is already on sale in the U.S.
The 540d should accelerate up to 60 mph in less than six seconds, and BMW pegs the 0-62-mph sprint in the 530d at 5.4 seconds. When it arrives in dealerships next month, the 540d will sit alongside a crowded menu of gas-powered BMW powertrains in the 5-Series, including a turbo-4 (530i), turbo-6 (540i), twin-turbo V-8 (M550i), high-powered V-8 (M5), and plug-in hybrid (530e), which also runs on battery power.
Priced between the 540i and M550i, the 540d's trick will be efficiency—although it may not be as efficient as the plug-in hybrid, which is also $7,350 less expensive. The 530e is rated as high was 29 mpg combined, and can run on battery power alone for 16 miles.
The 2018 BMW 540d will be an all-wheel-drive only affair, at least in the beginning. Unlike the last-generation BMW 535d that was available with rear- or all-wheel drive, the new 2018 BMW 540d will be an xDrive model—BMW speak for all-wheel drive. It's mated exclusively to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and largely mirrors the 540i in features and options availability.
BMW said an online configurator for the 540d would be available soon and models would arrive in dealers in early February.
Now, about that M550d.