What diesel backlash? 2018 BMW 540d coming to U.S.: report


2018 BMW 5-Series Li

2018 BMW 5-Series Li

Enlarge Photo

While the diesel backlash stemming from the VW emission scandal is real, BMW is forging ahead with the high-torque, high-efficiency engines regardless.

For its latest 5-Series luxury sedan, it will announce that a new 540d mid-size diesel luxury sedan will arrive in U.S. showrooms later in 2017, Car and Driver reports.

At this point, we'd generally launch into a litany of power and efficiency figures, but one simple fact clouds our crystal ball—the 540d doesn't exist in Europe.

DON'T MISS: All 2017 BMW diesels certified by EPA, production now starting

Over there, the most potent 5-Series diesel that doesn't have four turbochargers is the 530d.

Its 3.0-liter straight-6 produces 262 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque and—not that it will matter to Americans—returns a fuel consumption figure of 4.5 liters per 100 kilometers (52.3 U.S. miles per gallon) on the European test cycle.

2018 BMW 5-Series Li

2018 BMW 5-Series Li

Enlarge Photo

In general, the NEDC European tests return gas-mileage and electric-car range ratings that are 20 to 30 percent higher than the U.S. ratings issued by the EPA.

In other words, we wouldn't expect the diesel BMW 5-Series to get more than 50 mpg combined.

READ THIS: Diesel BMW 7-Series won't be sold in U.S., company confirms

Still, the higher number is good news for U.S. consumers who are hankering for more than the previous 5-Series diesel's 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, in the earlier 535d model.

And if the 540d nets the same 13-percent improvement in efficiency as the latest 530d, it'd be good news for the pocketbooks of those same consumers too.

The 535d's EPA-estimated combined rating of 30 mpg combined would likely increase to just under 34 mpg.

CHECK OUT: BMW Admits VW Emission Scandal Hurts All Diesel Sales In U.S.

Then again, this is (relatively educated) speculation.

Neither we nor Car and Driver know just what kind of power or efficiency ratings the 540d will achieve until it arrives later this year.

But if Europe is an example, this new diesel-powered 5-Series will likely provide healthy improvements in both fuel economy and performance over its predecessor.

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