With the apparent embrace of America’s increasingly mileage-minded buyers, German makers are flooding the U.S. market with an assortment of new diesel offerings, BMW to join the fray when it reveals the 328d sedan at the upcoming New York Auto Show.
The compact sedan will catch the spotlight alongside several other new models making their first appearances in North America, including the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, along with the Concept Active Tourer that anchored the BMW display at the Paris Motor Show last autumn.
The German maker also plans some significant news on the technology front, including the ability to add mobile WiFi service in some of its products, along with a new eCall emergency call service that can even advise first responders if a crash might result in serious injuries.
BMW still has some catching up to do when it comes to diesels, however. Audi plans to add four new models for 2014, and Mercedes-Benz has rapidly ramped up its own line-up over the last several years, with a particular emphasis on its crossover-utility models, which can use all the mileage enhancement possible.
(ExxonMobil forecasts diesel will outsell gasoline before decade’s end. Click Here for that story.)
BMW has received a particularly warm welcome for the X5 that marked its first foray into the U.S. diesel market since the previous boom for the technology went bust more than two decades ago. It’s had less luck in the passenger car segment but clearly wants to keep trying.
The numbers for the new 2014 BMW 328d certainly should attract potential buyers. The TwinPower inline-four produces 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque in U.S. trim – meaning it can be sold in all 50 States thanks to its latest after-treatment technology.
BMW estimates the 2014 328d will launch from 0 to 60 in around 7.2 seconds. At the same time, it promises it will deliver mileage that will “well exceed” 40 mpg.
The maker will likely save pricing for its NY Auto Show news conference or perhaps closer to when the diesel sedan rolls into U.S. showrooms, but as with other European offerings it will likely carry a premium of several thousand dollars, at the minimum. But even when factoring in the higher cost of diesel fuel, research shows buyers typically can recover that initial outlay within two to four years.
The 328d will share the stage with the new BMW 3-Series Grand Tourer, a downsized version of the current 5-Series GT. It’s both taller and longer than the traditional sedan body style which will translate into a bit more storage space and a lot more legroom, especially in the rear, according to BMW.
The Concept Active Tourer, meanwhile, is roughly the length of the latest BMW 1-Series, at 171 inches, nose-to-tail, and with a 105-inch wheelbase, the Active Tourer Concept also borrows some of the design features of the latest 3-Series sedan – notably the nose, with its slightly tilted double-kidney grille framed by twin headlamps topped by LED running lights. But the overall shape is more crossover-like, standing a full five inches taller than the 1-Series and four inches wider.
It’s designed to suggest where the maker will be going with its new “i” brand, which is dedicated to battery propulsion, but while sized close to the BMW i3, a pure battery-electric model, the Active Tourer Concept opts for the maker’s latest eDrive plug-in hybrid technology, much like the i8.
In terms of infotainment technology, BMW will announce in New York that it will now offer a 4G LTE mobile hotspot accessory that can maximize range by tapping into the car’s antenna. A growing number of makers, including Audi and Chrysler, have already begun offering in-car WiFi capabilities.
The Bavarian maker also will begin offering its BMW Assist eCall emergency call service on most 2014 models, with service provided for free for 10 years. While eCall is far from the first system of its kind, BMW claims it will use a new algorithm capable of determining whether a crash has caused severe injuries – information that would be relayed to first responders.
Also going into the 2014 line will be TeleService, a system that can track vehicle maintenance needs and alert both driver and local dealer.
Tags: 2013 nyias, Audi diesel, auto news, bmw 3-series gt, bmw 328d, bmw active tourer bmw 3-series, bmw diesel, bmw grand tourer, bmw news, bmw ny auto show, car news, diesel cars, diesels, in-car internet, mobil hotspots, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, thedetroitbureau