BMW labels its diesel engine development as being "quite dramatic."
Diesel engines have been in hot waters ever since the Dieselgate scandal at the Volkswagen Group broke cover a few years ago. More and more automakers are moving away from diesels to focus on petrol engines and electrification, with a recent example being Porsche and its decision to drop diesel engines for good. BMW sees things differently as the company believes the much-criticised engine can still peacefully coexist alongside petrol units and electrified powertrains.
Speaking with Australian magazine GoAuto at the Paris Motor Show, the automaker’s board member for development Klaus Froehlich announced BMW is still committed to these engines in the aftermath of Dieselgate. Not only that, but he described development of such engines as being “quite dramatic,” adding BMW has “more or less the best diesels” on sale today. He went on to mention test data shows their diesels have the lowest emissions in the industry.
While the future of regular four- and six-cylinder diesels is safe for now at BMW, it’s a tricky situation with the high-end units found in cars such as the M550d xDrive pictured above. The 3.0-litre, quad turbo billed as being the “most powerful six-cylinder diesel engine in the automotive area” faces an uncertain future as Froehlich admitted it will be difficult to tweak the engine to meet more stringent regulations regarding emissions. In addition, the segment of the market for these high-powered diesels is quite small, so investing a lot of money and time into further developments would not represent a viable solution given the weak business case.
During the same interview, BMW’s official suggested the diesel engine offerings might be simplified in the years to come. Referring to the 3.0-litre currently available in single-, twin-, and quad-turbo configurations, Froehlich said in the future there might be “one solution with two performance levels or something.”