This is a sad day for diesel fans.
Despite their overall popularity in foreign markets such as Europe, diesel engines never really caught on in the US with hybrids dominating as the top choice for eco-conscious buyers. After Dieselgate, it was only a matter of time before automakers called it quits on diesel engines in the US. And according to Motor Authority, BMW has now given up on diesel and will turn its focus towards hybrids.
BMW spokesperson Alexander Schmuck said, "we are putting all our eggs in the PHEV basket," as the brand announced the new X5 xDrive45e iPerformance model. Schmuck added that the upcoming plug-in hybrid X5 should return around 40 miles of electric driving range, which is a huge improvement over the current model's 14-mile range. Along with the increased range, the X5 plug-in will switch from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder to a 3.0-liter inline-six, combining with electric motors to produce 394 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.
This announcement can officially end any rumors that the next generation 3 Series would be sold in the US with a diesel engine option. BMW's decision to abandon diesel follows a similar decision by Mercedes-Benz after the approval process for diesel engines in the US became far more complicated post-Diselgate. While we spend a moment to mourn the loss of diesel BMW models in the US, we can look forward to upcoming plug-in hybrid models that will eventually spill over to the M range and even Rolls-Royce.