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BMW adds diesel to X5 range

Diesel get you going: The X5 3.0d has an impressive 410Nm at just 2000rpm.

A new fuel standard means diesel could be the next big thing

30 Oct 2001

BMW Group Australia has confirmed it will introduce a turbo-diesel version of the X5 off-roader in early 2003, after a new national fuel standard is introduced.

The X5 3.0d will be added to the existing petrol-engined range - the 3.0i inline six-cylinder, the 4.4i V8 and soon-to-arrive 4.6is performance off-roader.

BMW's 3.0-litre is among the latest generation of high-tech turbo-diesel engines, including a turbocharger with variable vane geometry and four valves per cylinder. It produces 135kW at 4000rpm and an impressive 410Nm of torque between 2000rpm and 3000rpm.

BMW claims acceleration from 0-100km/h in 10.5 seconds and a top speed of 200km/h. Fuel consumption of 9.7L/100km on the combined EU cycle is also claimed.

The arrival of this new generation of BMW diesel engine technology in Australia follows successful lobbying by the motoring industry for the Federal Government to adopt quality levels for diesel fuel in line with European EU standards.

The new Fuel Standard (Diesel) Determination 2001 agreement, which will be introduced on December 31, 2002, limits the sulphur content of diesel fuel to a maximum of 500ppm (parts per million or mg/kg) - equivalent to the current EU-2 emission standard.

Until now, there has been no Australian standard regulating the quality of diesel fuel, with the effect that the sulphur content is an average of 1440 ppm.

High levels of sulphur in diesel fuel represent a corrosive element, which shortens engine life and contributes to undesirable emissions. The new agreement also requires the sulphur content to be further reduced to 50 ppm from January 1, 2006.

The arrival of the X5 3.0d could be the first step in a leap of diesel engine availability in this country - and not only from BMW. New technology diesel engines are immensely popular in Europe because of their fuel efficiency and - in some countries - cheaper cost per litre than petrol.

Full Australian specifications and pricing for the X5 3.0d will be announced closer to its launch date, but BMW says it is certain to be competitively positioned and will feature a high standard of specification.

It will have the same unitary body and independent suspension as its petrol-engined siblings, with a permanent four-wheel drive system which conveys 62 per cent of the engine power to the rear wheels and 38 per cent to the front wheels under normal driving conditions.

The X5 3.0d will also have a range of inter-related technologies including ABS anti-lock braking, DSCIII (Dynamic Stability Control), ASC-X (Automatic Stability Control), ADB-X (Automatic Differential Brake), HDC (Hill Descent Control) and CBC (Cornering Brake Control).

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