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BMW multiplies diesels

Winner: BMW's 'World Green Car of the Year' 118d is headed to Australia among a flock of new diesel models.

BMW rolls out 15 extra diesel 1 and 3 Series models under EfficientDynamics

18 Aug 2009

BMW Australia has announced that it will introduce 10 additional 1 Series diesel and five more 3 Series diesel models in November this year.

Included in both ranges will be the first diesel-powered coupe and convertible models in the company’s 42-year history in Australia, joining compatriots Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

The 320d Coupe also marks the return of the four-cylinder 3 Series Coupe, missing in Australia since the demise of the E36 318iS Coupe in October 1999, while the new 320d Convertible ends a four-cylinder 3 Series Convertible drought that commenced when the E30 320i Convertible died almost 20 years ago.

Furthermore, priced from $67,500 and $80,400, the 320d Coupe and 320d Convertible happen to be more than $3000 and $16,000 cheaper than the previous series openers respectively.

14 center image Left: BMW 1 Series convertible, BMW 1 Series Coupe, BMW 3 Series Convertible.

BMW’s long-awaited 2.0-litre four-cylinder ‘TwinPower’ twin-turbocharged diesel – also known as the 123d – is another Bavarian debutante.

However, this engine will not find its way into any other BMW for now, so don’t expect to see a 323d badge anytime soon.

Adhering to BMW’s EfficientDynamics banner that at-once pushes performance, economy and low emissions boundaries, all 15 diesel newcomers fall under the federal government’s seven litres per 100 kilometres Luxury Car Tax break.

This brings BMW’s sub-7.0L/100km total to 23 models, “... with more to arrive in 2010,” according to a statement issued by the firm.

Auto idle/stop, optimum shift indicator, electric power steering and brake energy regeneration are among the measures that the latest 1 Series diesels will boast.

None of these engines or technologies has been offered on Australian-bound BMWs until now.

The baby BMW range kicks off with the $42,170 118d five-door Sports Hatch six-speed manual, the ‘2008 World Green Car of the Year’ winner that produces 105kW of power and 300Nm of torque to help it hit 100km/h in nine seconds yet achieves 4.5L/100km and 119 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide pollution.

Compared to the conceptually similar (though $3270 cheaper) Audi A3 TDIe, the 118d is just as frugal yet 28kW more powerful and almost three seconds faster to 100km/h, underlining BMW’s sporting intent.

The $2200 extra six-speed auto 118d hatch bumps up the manual’s fuel and emissions figures to 5.4L and 144g/km respectively.

This engine will also make it into the 118d Convertible, the first diesel for the ragtop 1 Series, with a 0-100km/h time of 9.5s, fuel figure of 4.9L/100km (auto: 5.6) and CO2 rating of 129g/km (auto: 148). No 118d Coupe is in the line-up.

Next up is the 123d complete with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel with variable twin turbo technology and common-rail fuel injection, to help deliver 150kW and 400Nm.

The upshot is a 0-100km/h-sprint time of seven seconds for the 123d Sports Hatch and Coupe (Convertible: 7.5s), while using 5.2L/100km (Convertible: 5.4). 123d autos add up to 0.5L/100km, while CO2 figures range from 138 to 154g/km, depending on the body and gearbox configuration.

Meanwhile, for the 3 Series range, BMW is extending the availability of its existing diesels.

The 320d sedan’s 130kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel now resides in the 320d Coupe, 320d Touring wagon, and 320d Convertible, offering between 5.5 and 5.8L/100km, 145 and 153g/km, and a 0-100km/h-dash time from 8.0 to 8.7s.

Greater performance is on offer in the guise of the new 330d Coupe and 330d Convertible, using the recently released 180kW/520Nm 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder common-rail turbo-diesel unit. The former shoots to 100km/h in 6.1s versus 6.5s for the latter, while their fuel consumption and CO2 ratings come in at 6.2/6.5L/100km and 164/170g/km respectively.

All join the other sub-7.0L/100km BMW club in Australia (520d, 530d, X3 xDrive20d, 730d and Mini Cooper D), with the next-generation 5 Series (2010) and X1 (2010) and X3 Mk2 (2011) all expected to pitch in more models.

Believing that the new diesels will cement its leadership in cleaner and greener driver-orientated luxury vehicles, BMW has already fired a volley of models with EfficientDynamics into Australia this year.

In May it announced a raft of improvements that saw fuel consumption and CO2 emissions reduced by between three and 12 per cent (with price hikes of between 0.3 and two per cent) on certain models such as the 120d, 130i, 125i Convertible, 320d and 530d, although some of BMW’s biggest volume cars – namely the 120i, 320i, 323i and 325i sedans, the 320i and 323i Touring, and M3, missed out.

As we reported back them, regional director for Asia, Pacific and South Africa (and former BMW Australia managing director) Guenther Seemann has been behind the EfficientDynamics drive in Australia, with the baton passed to his successor Stavros Yallouridis.

“In reality, it’s not about how many vehicles we can offer below the 7.0-litre mark, but giving customers the opportunity to enjoy efficient motoring without sacrificing performance in whatever segment they are interested in,” Mr Yallouridis said.

“When it comes to the combination of performance and efficiency, only BMW is able to dominate so many varied segments, from the 1 Series right through to the 7 Series.

“BMW will continue to bring the very best in automotive excellence to the Australian market and the new BMW EfficientDynamics equipped 1 and 3 series models are just another example why BMW is the number one luxury vehicle supplier in Australia and the world.”
BMW EfficientDynamics range pricing:
BMW 1 Series pricing:
118d Sports Hatch: $42,170
118d Sports Hatch (a): $44,370
123d Sports Hatch: $50,790
123d Sports Hatch (a): $53,070
123d Coupe: $57,900
123d Coupe (a): $60,864
118d Convertible: $52,900
118d Convertible (a): $55,655
123d Convertible: $67,200
123d Convertible (a): $65,664
BMW 3 Series pricing:
320d Touring Executive: $61,500
320d Coupe (a): $67,500
330d Coupe (a): $91,900
320d Convertible (a): $80,400
330d Convertible (a): $104,850

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