While we were visiting with BMW at the LA Auto Show, the automaker made a big deal about its diesel engines, suggesting that the oil-burners would be an alternative to hybrids in the United States just as they are in European countries. Although it wasn't initially in the plans for the U.S. market, BMW of America is getting some pressure from its dealerships to bring a diesel version of its range-topping 7 Series sedan, completely redesigned for 2009 and equipped with a twin-turbo 4.4L V8. That's an impressive engine no doubt, but after getting a drive in the Euro-market 730d, some dealers didn't even realize there was a different powerplant underhood. That bodes well for future diesels from BMW.
Soon, the Bavarian automaker will import diesel versions of its 3 Series and X5 utility vehicle with a twin-turbo six cylinder engine. On average, a diesel-powered Bimmer is about 20-25% more efficient than its gasoline-fed sibling, so diesels make sense both for consumers looking to lower their fuel bills and also manufacturers needing to adjust their CAFE fuel mileage statistics. In other words, it may be more surprising if an automaker like BMW didn't announce that it was working on more diesel engines for America.