And the gains seem to be worth the effort.
When you think of a hybrid vehicle, you never think that one half of that setup could be a diesel engine, do you? But why not? Diesels are more efficient and produce more torque. Surely that plus the instant torque of an electric motor seems like the obvious way forward. We were even supposed to get a monstrous diesel hybrid version of the R8, but that idea died some time ago. Well, the fact that we don't see many of them means it's not that simple. Still, that didn't stop Kia from doing it on the Sportage, and if it's good enough for the US Army, it's good enough for us. As it turns out, it's good enough for BMW too with the carmaker unveiling new straight-six diesel engines for the 7 Series that feature mild-hybrid tech.
The new BMW 7 Series will be offering "improved performance, higher torque, greater efficiency", according to the Bavarian carmaker. This comes as a result of adding a 48-volt mild hybrid system that, together with exhaust after treatment, makes the new engines compliant with Euro 6d emissions. The unit in the 730d - and it's all-wheel-drive and extended wheelbase variants - gets an increase of 20 horsepower and 22 lb-ft of torque for a total of 281 hp and 479 lb-ft. The six-cylinder in the 740d models gains the same power increase for a total of 335 hp while torque increases by 14 lb-ft to 516. This is done while also reducing fuel consumption, according to BMW.
The increased output of the engines has had a significant effect on how the 7 Series accelerates, with all models completing the sprint from 0-62 mph two-tenths quicker than before. The regular-length 730d models now complete the sprint in 5.9 and 5.6 seconds for the RWD and AWD versions respectively, while the AWD-only 740d does it in five seconds flat. BMW is also offering new paint colors with the next 7, with Phytonic Blue metallic and BMW Individual Frozen Bluestone metallic, while the interior's Merino leather can be had with a Smokey White/Night Blue/Black combination. Will this be enough to take it to the new S-Class? We'll have to wait and see, but as things stand, the engines at least are not confirmed for our shores.