One of the few remaining luxury brands to offer diesel engines in the United States is reportedly throwing in the towel after the 2018 model year.
Speaking with Motor Authority, BMW of North America’s Product and Technology Communications Manager said the brand will no longer offer diesel engines in the United States. Instead, the company is “putting all our eggs in the PHEV basket.”
The news will undoubtedly hit diesel fans pretty hard as it means the company will phase out a handful of different models including the 328d, 540d xDrive and X5 xDrive35d. The decision to axe the 540d xDrive is particularly interesting as the model was introduced earlier this year with a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder diesel engine that developed 261 hp (194 kW / 264 PS) and 457 lb-ft (618 Nm) of torque. This enabled the all-wheel drive sedan to run from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 5.1 seconds before hitting a top speed of up to 155 mph (250 km/h).
Those are respectable numbers, but the model had a base price of $62,000 which made it significantly more expensive than the 530e xDrive iPerformance which starts at $54,700. While the diesel-powered model combined performance with fuel efficiency, FuelEconomy.gov shows drivers would save an average of $100 a year by opting for the plug-in hybrid variant.
More recently, BMW introduced the 2021 X5 xDrive45e iPerformance. The model will arrive in America in 2020 and feature a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. This will enable the crossover to have a combined maximum output of 388 hp (290 kW / 394 PS) and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque.
The plug-in hybrid X5 can run from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 5.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 146 mph (235 km/h). More importantly, the model should have an electric-only range of approximately 40 miles (64 km) in the United States.