Thursday, February 16, 2012

BMW diesel M Performance line

I happened to come across a video on Youtube promoting BMW's new performance line. The rumors that had been floating around about a tri-turbo 6 powered m3 and an M5 with x-drive all make sense now.  But instead of powering an M car in the classic sense, BMW has launched a new "performance line" that combines a high torque diesel engine with an all-wheel drive X5 SUV or 5 series chassis.

Regardless of where you stand on turbodiesel engines, 546 ft-lbs of torque with EU combined mileage rating of 44.8 mpg sounds pretty amazing.  A Cadillac CTS-V has a similar amount of torque, but gets only 19 mpg from its supercharged V8 powerplant. So as a technical feat, it's impressive. But power alone doesn't always equal fun especially with the current 5's weight and somewhat lifeless electric steering (though according to some sources these models get a proper hydraulic rack!).

So as a business strategy, it certainly makes sense to offer high performance vehicles that are more usable in street driving than traditional M cars. And hopefully it will clear the way for BMW to get back to eventually offering high-revving naturally aspirated "purist" M3s and M5s.

But it's all academic now anyway since BMW has no  plans to bring this engine to the US.  Looks like I'll have to book a flight to Germany soon!


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