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BMW Confirms Diesel-M, High-Performance Engine to Find Numerous Other Applications

Will other makers follow with muscle diesels?

by on Aug.17, 2011

BMW's new M5 will soon get a diesel-powered companion, this one using a triple-turbo diesel, the first oil-burner to bear the vaunted "M" badge.

Editor’s note: The following story has been revised to make clear that BMW M Manager Brian Watts did not himself confirm the diesel program has been approved but is only under consideration.  However, ranking BMW sources have repeated their confirmation that what is tentatively being called the BMW 550dXM will be publicly revealed in spring 2012.

BMW will introduce a new high-performance diesel-powered 5-Series model next spring that will expand the German maker’s vaunted M division, has confirmed, with the triple-turbo V-8 oil-burner set to also be used in a variety of other BMW products, likely including its X-series sport-activity vehicles.

Rumors of the diesel M have been circulating for several weeks, but has confirmed details with a variety of BMW sources who say the maker wants to prove out the potential of the high-mileage technology – taking advantage of a variety of new technologies, including the unusual triple-turbocharging system meant to eliminate even the most minor turbo lag.

Stay in the Know!

The new model is likely to get the unusual designation of either BMW 550dM or 550dXM, the latter referring to its all-wheel-drive system.  With rare exception, most models produced by the Bavarian maker’s performance sub-brand flash the vaunted “M” first and foremost.  But the alternative nomenclature would reflect the unusual powertrain under the hood of the 5-Series BMW.


Is BMW Preparing Diesel M-Car?

Reports suggest AWD oil-burner will debut in Frankfurt.

by on Aug.12, 2011

Could the next BMW M5 be powered by a diesel?

Those who still think of diesels as sluggish, smelly and anything but fun to drive could be in for a shock if they turn up for the BMW news conference at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show.

If reports circulating on the web prove true, the maker could be ready to unveil not just a new diesel, but one that would be the first to carry the vaunted BMW M badge.  According to Autoblog, the new model would go by the unusual designation of the M550dX, which would suggest a diesel with all-wheel-drive.

Stay in the Loop!

The nomenclature might seem unusual – though one of BMW’s very first M cars was the 1979 M535i – but so is the idea of using an oil burner to power a performance machine.  The technology has, for most of the century-plus since it was invented, been focused on fuel economy.

But the latest diesel systems, such as turbocharging and direct injection, have transformed the technology, as Mercedes-Benz proved, a few years back, with a limited-production diesel model bearing that brand’s vaunted AMG badge.