For U.S. buyers who want diesel cars, German luxury brands have traditionally offered the widest array of model choices. But in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, some of those carmakers now appear less enthusiastic about bringing new diesel models to the U.S. The latest casualty is a diesel version of the BMW 7-Series luxury sedan.
BMW offered a diesel-engine option in the previous-generation 7-Series, and discussed continuing to do so with the latest version unveiled last year as a 2016 model. However, the carmaker has decided not to sell the diesel 7-Series in the U.S. after all. BMW’s decision not to import the diesel 7-Series was first reported in the German magazine Focus.
The report cited unnamed engineers from automotive supplier Bosch, which supplies components for BMW diesel powertrains. BMW of North America subsequently confirmed the 7-Series diesel’s fate to BMW Blog.
While noting that there are “currently no plans” to offer a diesel-engine option in the U.S., a BMW spokesperson did not offer an explanation as to why the model was being withheld.
BMW currently offers five diesel models in the U.S. They include diesel versions of the X3 and X5 SUVs, the 5-Series sedan, and the 3-Series in both sedan and wagon body styles. The 3-Series and X3 models use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, while the 5-Series and X5 use a 3.0-liter inline six, also turbocharged.
Without the diesel, U.S. 7-Series engine options will include a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six and a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, with a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 expected to join the lineup soon. For the 2017 model year, BMW will also add the 740e xDrive i Performance plug-in hybrid model announced last year.
Previously called just “740e xDrive,” this model uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine, with an electric motor integrated with an eight-speed automatic transmission to drive all four wheels. Meanwhile, a somewhat less expensive new German luxury sedan will also do without a diesel engine in the U.S.
As early as 2013, executives had planned on offering a diesel option on the 2017 Audi A4, but that plan was recently nixed. Audi of America president Scott Keogh denied the decision was the result of the Volkswagen diesel scandal, which Audi is entangled in. Instead, he said, it was because of poor sales of the carmaker’s current diesel models.