2011 BMW 5-Series (Euro spec)
The list of cars offered to U.S. buyers in gasoline, diesel, and hybrid models is going to get longer.
On the heels of its confirmation that the 2012 BMW 5-Series will be offered with a full hybrid system, the company has also confirmed it'll sell a clean diesel version of the new 5-Series in the U.S. market.
The company said the new model--which we surmise may be labeled a 535d--will be one of two new diesel models. Inside Line speculates that the other may be a four-cylinder turbodiesel, either supplementing or replacing the current 3.0-liter straight-six turbodiesel in the 3-Series.
Currently, the only vehicle in the U.S. market available with all three powertrains is the 2010 Mercedes-Benz ML sport utility vehicle. It offers gasoline engines of various sizes, an ML320 Bluetec diesel model, and the ML450 Hybrid as well--though the latter can't be bought, only leased.
But if BMW adds 5-Series diesel and hybrid models for 2012, along with a subsequent hybrid 3-Series to complement the existing 2010 BMW 335d diesel, that list would triple.
It'll also be a good market test of whether luxury buyers who want to go green prefer hybrids, clean diesels, or--our prediction--both, for different reasons and duty cycles.