BMW Releases Pricing for U.S. Diesels

The ’09 335d and X5 xDrive35d go on sale in December for $44,725 and $52,025, respectively, with both eligible for federal income-tax credits.

With the first units set to reach U.S. dealers next month, BMW of North America LLC announces pricing for the new 50-state-legal, clean-diesel variants of the 3-Series sedan and X5 cross/utility vehicle.

Powered by a twin-turbocharged I-6 making 265 hp and 425 lb.-ft (576 Nm) of torque, the ’09 335d will retail for $44,725, which is nearly $4,000 more than a comparable gasoline-powered 335i.

The ’09 X5 xDrive35d, basing at $52,025 with the same engine, carries a similar premium over the $47,925 X5 xDrive30i.

All prices include destination fees.

A 6-speed automatic is the only transmission offered in both vehicles, because the diesel’s high-torque output is too much for existing BMW manual gearboxes to handle, the auto maker says.

In addition to the 30% improvement in fuel economy BMW says the new vehicles achieve over gasoline versions, buyers of the 335d will be eligible for a $900 federal income-tax credit. Those opting for the X5 xDrive35d will be credited $1,550.

While final fuel-economy ratings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are not expected to be released until after the vehicles debut in production trim next week at the Los Angeles auto show, city/highway estimates are 23/36 mpg (10.2/6.5 L/100 km) for the 335d and 19/26 (12.4/9.1 L/100 km) for the X5 xDrive35d.

As part of BMW’s EfficientDynamics vehicle strategy and BluePerformance diesel-engine program, both vehicles are equipped with selective catalyst reduction (SCR) urea-injection systems in order to meet stringent Tier 2 Bin 5 oxides-of-nitrogen (NOx) regulations in all 50 states.

SCR operates by injecting into the exhaust small doses of a urea/water solution, which convert NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water.

The system includes a pair of heated storage tanks that only need replenishing during scheduled maintenance visits (under normal conditions), which are covered under BMW’s standard 4-year/50,000-mile (80,467-km) warranty.

An oxidation catalyst and regenerating diesel-particulate filter also are present and work to limit soot output.

Although BMW makes several diesel engines that are offered in most of its vehicles worldwide, Willem Rombauts, head of product planning and strategy-5-Series, X5 and X6, says the auto maker will wait to see how the 335d and X5 xDrive35d perform in the U.S. market before deciding to offer oil-burners in any additional models.

However, clean diesels, along with hybrid-electric and hydrogen-fueled vehicles, are “part of BMW’s overall package” for improving vehicle efficiency, says Tom Bologa, vice president-engineering.

The next steps, he says, include improving the I-6 diesel’s performance with a single turbo vs. the current two, while working with key suppliers to meet even tighter emissions standards in the future.

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