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730d to best rivals, says BMW

Well oiled: BMW's diesel 7 Series sips a hybrid-like 7.2L/100km.

BMW 7 Series diesel will be more efficient and better-specified than luxury foes

23 Jun 2009

BMW Australia has previewed this week’s launch of the 730d turbo-diesel sedan by highlighting the fact it will not only return lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than the Lexus LS600hL hybrid limousine but will also bring more standard equipment at a lower price.

BMW says the 730d will become the first and only vehicle in Australia’s upper luxury sedan segment to emit less than 200 grams of CO2 per kilometre, at 192g/km.

It will also consume 7.2 litres of diesel per 100km on the official ADR81/02 combined cycle, which BMW points out is no more than smaller four-cylinder models such as the 2.0-litre Mercedes-Benz A200 and 1.8-litre Audi A4 1.8 TFSI Multitronic.

At the same time, the 1865kg diesel 7 Series, which is powered by a Euro V-compliant all-aluminium 180kW/540Nm turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six, can sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 7.2 seconds.

According to BMW, Australia’s first ever diesel 7 Series “delivers a credible alternative to less fuel-efficient hybrid-powered vehicles in the upper luxury segment, which consume almost 30 per cent more fuel than the 730d”.

14 center image That’s a direct reference to the Lexus LS600hL, which is Australia’s only petrol-electric limousine and which has a kerb weight of 2430kg, and returns average fuel consumption of 9.3L/100km and CO2 emissions of 219g/km. Powered by an EU4-compatible 290kW/520Nm 5.0-litre V8 in tandem with a 165kW/300Nm electric motor, the hybrid LS has a claimed 0-100km/h acceleration time of just 6.3 seconds.

Lexus points out that compared to equivalent petrol engines diesel engines generally produce more oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), which are known to be harmful to human health.

Neither NOx nor PM figures are freely available from car manufacturers, but according to the UK Department of Transport’s official vehicle fuel consumption and emissions database, on which all other fuel and emissions data is identical to Australian figures, the 730d produces 167 milligrams of NOx per kilometre and 0.30mg/km of PM.

While the LS600hL ($252,900) produces no particulate matter, its NOx rating is just 12 per cent of the 730d figure at 20mg/km.

In a wider comparison, the diesel Mercedes-Benz S320 CDI sedan is somewhere between the BMW and Lexus for fuel consumption (7.7L/100km) and CO2 emissions (202g/km), while its NOx rating is higher than the 730d at 198mg/km and its particulate emissions rating is identical at 0.30mg/km.

The 1880kg S320 CDI employs an EU4-rated 173kW/540Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, and is priced at $198,810.

Audi offers two diesel-powered versions of its A8 limousine: the 3.0 TDI quattro LWB ($172,900) and the 4.2 TDI quattro ($220,900).

The long-wheelbase A8 V6 diesel is EU4-rated, produces 171kW/450Nm, returns 8.4L/100km and emits 224g/km of CO2, while producing 178mg/km of NOx and 0.10mg/km of PM, while the short-wheelbase A8 V8 diesel is also EU4-rated, produces 240kW/650Nm, returns 9.4L/100km and emits 249g/km of CO2, while producing 208mg/km of NOx and 0.14mg/km of PM.

BMW has sold more diesel vehicles to May this year (2043) than Audi, which with 1611 diesel sales so far in 2009 has overtaken Mercedes-Benz (1552). More than one-third (33.6 per cent) of all BMWs sold in Australia this year were diesel.

It says the 730d engine’s more advanced European emissions compliance rating makes it more environmentally-friendly than its rivals.

“The 730d is compliant to a higher environmental standard in that it is Euro V not Euro,” said BMW spokesman Toni Andreevski.

“If Lexus is raising NOx as an issue, does that mean they’re not concerned by the emissions of Toyota SUVs?“Perhaps Lexus is concerned they’re missing out on a growing market segment … or that we’ll steal a march on luxury buyers who want lower emissions,” he said.

BMW also claims the 730d, which will be the only new 7 Series priced under $200,000 (at $198,800) and carries the same standard equipment list as the twin-turbo six-cylinder petrol-powered 740i, will present better value than its luxury limousine competitors.

It says standard 730d features that are cost options or not available on some rivals include automatic boot closer, soft-close doors, keyless opening, a rear-view camera, glass sunroof, front seat heating, four-zone climate control, adaptive headlights, high beam assist, TV function, voice control, head-up display, USB/Bluetooth interface, a six-CD/DVD changer, metallic paint and 18-inch wheels.

Read more:

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