By Chris Chin - Digital Trends
Even though the future of diesel-passenger vehicles in the United States became very uncertain again following Volkswagen’s recent “Dieselgate” conspiracy, with other automakers undergoing similar scrutiny for their lineup of oil burners, BMW remains adamnt. Fans of BMW’s fuel-efficient torque monsters will be delighted to hear that the carmaker will be reintroducing the 5-Series diesel to our shores, according to The Car Connection.
Without much publicity, BMW reportedly told the outlet that the next new diesel model from the company will be the 2018 540d xDrive. Further substantiating the case, federal officials supposedly certified the model for sale in the U.S. this month.
The latest BMW 5-Series launched in 2017 and with the changeover, the diesel-powered variant endured a one-year hiatus. It will now join the base-level BMW 530i with its TwinPower gasoline turbocharged four, the 540i with its turbo gas inline-six, the M550i with its twin-turbo V8, the M5, and the plug-in-hybrid 530e.
When it hits showrooms, the 2018 BMW 540d xDrive is rated to return up to 26 mpg in the city, 36 mpg highway, and a combined rating of 30 mpg. It will also only be available in all-wheel drive, versus the outgoing car, which came with the choice of rear-wheel.
The 2018 BMW 540d xDrive is apparently based mostly on the 530d sedan sold in Europe. That should mean that a turbocharged diesel 3.0-liter inline-six sits under the hood of the 540d, churning out around 265 horsepower and a whopping 457 pound-feet of twist. It’s essentially the same motor powering the BMW X5d xDrive crossover, though with a few modifications. Channeling the power to all four wheels is a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.
The BMW 540d joins the X5d and the 328d as BMW’s only diesel options here in the U.S. It will sit above the gas-powered 540i and the hybridized 530e in the lineup. Its price should similarly reflect its position, with the 540d starting at $62,995 when it hits dealerships in February. For reference, the base rear-wheel-drive BMW 540i starts at $58,200.
Like other BMW 5-Series variants, the 540d will be separated into trim levels that determine the packaging and options: Premium, M Sport, and Executive.