By on May 13, 2012

Even as the wagon Gods smile down upon on this Mother’s Day, BMW’s announcement of an all-new 2013 3-Series Wagon still has us waiting with bated breath with the announcement of not one but two diesel powertrains.

We will almost certainly get the 328i, with the controversial turbo 4-cylinder engine, but BMW also announced a 320d and 330d. A 335i is conspicuously absent, but with two torquey oil-burners, who cares? The 320d, with 181 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque returns 52 mpg. A 330d with 250 horsepower and 358 lb-ft of torque will also be offered, but BMW is being coy, stating that American spec models will be announced at a later date.

What will be offered is xDrive all-wheel drive, all the usual overwrought F30 3-Series gadgets, and a power tailgate similar to the 2013 Ford Escape, that can be opened be sweeping your foot underneath the rear bumper. And no, we’re not sure if the diesels will get a stick shift. The 328i will surely get a 6-speed manual as well as the 8-speed T1000 Cyborg Automatic.

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89 Comments on “2013 BMW 3-Series Wagon Coming Here: Will We See A Diesel Stick-Shift?...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    With the way things are “evolving” at BMW, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was offered up with a standard 3 cylinder motor based on the core design of either the circa-1995 Geo Metro or maybe the newer VW Polo.

    Hell, maybe BMW will do a solid for its customers and make a tiny, supplemental turbo or supercharger standard, to bump up the bhp and torque by a whopping 5%.

    BMW: The Ultimate Faux Driving Machines.

  • avatar
    graham

    As the current owner of a 2012 E91 6MT 328xi M-Sport Wagon and former owner of an E90 335d diesel, this is good to hear, but I seriously doubt that there will be a diesel offered in the US, let alone a manual transmission diesel. I think we’ll be lucky with a 328xi manual at this point. But please prove me wrong BMWNA.

    • 0 avatar
      Toucan

      320d has been promised for the USA many times. 335d was introduced as first to establish the diesel high performance link in the minds and score glowing reviews.

      Volkswagen/Audi tried the waters, successfully.

      It won’t come with the manual, though. Contrary to common beliefs, the autobox works much better in this case. There is too much shifting around town with the diesel, partially because of the very short 1st gear.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        In all honesty, with a modern diesel taking of in second isn’t much of a problem and doesn’t require clutch abuse. But for comfort AT and diesel is a match made in heaven.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Why would I pay nearly 40 grand for a 4 cylinder BMW wagon when the Outback 3.6R is bigger, cheaper, and has a big NA flat 6?

    I can’t imagine wanting one of these unless it has a proper straight six under the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      …and you can buy a 2004 Ford Excursion with ten, count-em, TEN cylinders for only $8 grand. Not everybody buys cars by the pound.

      http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FORD-EXCURSION-XLS-4X4-TRITON-V-10-3RD-ROW-SEAT-EXTRA-CLEAN-/330731231301?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item4d011e1845

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      How do you figure the BMW is slower? The Outback gets to 60 in about 7.5 seconds, the BMW is there in under 6. On top of that, the BMW will be the nicer car to drive hard since Subaru doesn’t see fit to send us a proper Legacy wagon anymore.

      I’m also not sure I get the logic of needing an I6 as a “proper BMW engine” – yes, it’s been important to their heritage, but they also build their reputation on I4 cars like the 2002 and 320i/318i.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        To be more precise the 2002 turbo and 318is/320is and the, oh my god I love it, E30 M3 Sport Evolution. All of them excellent cars and engines. I think it’s basically a good thing that BMW are shaving of cylinders, I-4 M3 and I-6 M5 just seems so proper.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The 2002 turbo was superseded by the naturally aspirated, M20 6-cylinder powered 323i, and the world rejoiced.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @CJinSD
        With ~30hp less, in a car weighting ~200 pounds more, that was ~2 seconds slower to 60 and had a ~10 mph lower top speed despite an extra cog in the gearbox. Rejoice!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The performance difference wasn’t that dramatic, but the power delivery, sophistication, durability, reliability, and fuel economy improvements were. There were good reasons that BMW phased out their turbo engines as quickly as larger naturally aspirated engines could be developed, as they did with the M20 replacing the turbo M10 and the M70 replacing the 745i’s turbo M30.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @CJinSD
        The performance difference wasn’t dramatic? The 2002 Turbo was basically a 911 rival, its I6 successor was not. I’d say that the performance difference was the figure’s I quoted and that they where big. The reason for ditching the 2002 had more to do with fuel economy than anything else. Sure the early turbo engines where a bit iffy in the reliability department, but that doesn’t mean that there where any reason to rejoice the passing of a truly great car.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The 911 was gaining displacement those years too. You rounded up 1.4 seconds to 2, 5 mph to 10, 27 hp to 30, 126 lbs to 200. Not all that dramatic, and by no means worth the trade off in quality of giving up a perfectly balanced I6 for a primitive turbo 4. If numbers are all that matters than there were far better cars for magazine racers than BMWs in the ’70s anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @CJinSD Oh did I, I actually rounded everything down except the horse power difference, i must admit that I was wrong about the weight.
        Any way this is somewhat of a apples to oranges comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      I agree sometimes less isn’t more, its just less and its insulting from a high end make like BMW.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    So the slower, smaller, more expensive BMW is better because it has that little propeller on the hood?

    The times when BMW could afford to sell their cars at a ridiculous premium has come and gone, and in the family wagons for less than 40k segment there are only a few competitors and if BMW wants to sell more than 1500 3-series wagons maybe they can realize the TDI Jetta with its horrid build quality issues isn’t the compeitition.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    You know the only possible diesel here will be the overpriced, big one. The small one is actually the only one that makes sense here. Still, they won’t find real wagon buyers to ask, and they will continue to sell three a year.

    VW sells every TDI wagon at near list. BMW could offer a stripped version in the low thirties with options up to infiniti and take a good chunk of share.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      A base 328i sedan goes for $35k. The last gen 328i wagon starts at $37k. Adding an expensive diesel will push it to around $39k. A TDI Jetta is almost $14k cheaper. I don’t know that the dynamics of the Jetta TDI sales translate to a relatively niche market.

  • avatar
    rentonben

    Close, but I’m not buying; A pillar still to thick, and I need crank windows.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    What car actually still is available with cranks? Why do you need cranks? And sorry for the interrogation, but you do realize that demanding cranks just means they will decide you just aren’t going to be their customer? Ever?

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      The running joke is that people claim they want wagons. When car makers then made them, and nobody bought them, it was because they “weren’t diesel” or “were wrong wheel drive.” When a car maker finally makes a “perfect” stick, RWD, diesel wagon, people will still not buy them – because they have an additional demand.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Mark my words – if BMW offers the F31 320D with a stick in the US, there will immediately be a VERY nice Tasman green 6spd RWD E91 posted for sale. I’ve driven the E91 320D in Europe, it is just as delightful as my 328i and gets near-as-dammit twice the gas mileage. I will happily give up a little steering feel for a lot more usable space in this case. So they will certainly sell at least ONE. If they don’t offer the 320D, well, there is still an F31 in my future, but I will probably wait for the LCI.

        And seriously, crank windows?? Enjoy your Kia Rio or stripper work truck. My Alfa Spider doesn’t even have crank windows.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        Most of the people claiming interest in wagons on the internet are waiting for someone else to buy them new, allowing them to buy for 20% of the new price in 8 or 10 years.

        Problem is that someone has to buy them new in the first place.

        I’m no less to blame, living in a household that has only bought three new cars in 18 years.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Lol, I was ready for a Jetta wagon, but the seats weren’t any good. So maybe you have a point. Can’t find one under 28k here btw. I like, but don’t require a stick. I used to like the golf seats, so I think I am getting pickier. The Volvo C70 and Honda Pilot are looking like the finalists. I am rather mad at BMW and don’t know if I can go back there anyway.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I don’t give a hoot about diesel or wagons, and neither does the American market, nor does pretty much all the internet manual diesel wagon fans when it actually comes time to put their money where their mouths are.

    Diesels are torquey and efficient, which is great for say, a Toyota Corolla. But they sound bad, have strange, unsporty powerbands and have a lot more stuff that can break. The regular 3 is fine. People need to stop romanticizing anything that is unavailable to us here.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “I don’t give a hoot about diesel or wagons, and neither does the American market, nor does pretty much all the internet manual diesel wagon fans when it actually comes time to put their money where their mouths are.”

      That’s a bit harsh. So far this year, about 0.9% of US car sales have been “clean diesels”. Diesels could be half of the market if they increased sales by only 5800%.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        Well I am one who does and bought a 2011 TDI wagon from VW new and have had it 8 months and 33k on it and I love the TDI wagon, so if BMW builds it and makes it affordable ( will not happen) there are those of us who would buy it. Glad I am in at least the 1% crowd just my luck not the best one but at least one.

        • 0 avatar
          TDI daddy

          I have a 2011 VW TDI wagon with 21K, 6spd M. Best car I have ever owned (and I have owned plenty). Great mileage, power where it counts, decent gearbox, and very comfortable. Would I rather have an inexpensive BMW diesel wagon? Sure, but that’s not going to happen in the U.S. market.
          I understand that most americans (including my wife) want nothing to do with wagons. But I have dogs, kids, and bikes, and I don’t want some heavy, ugly, SUV. I liked the looks of the older (early 2000s) BMW wagons better, but oh well.
          i doubt the 328d wagon will be a big seller in the U.S., but i am glad it is at least available.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      “Diesels are torquey and efficient, which is great for say, a Toyota Corolla. But they sound bad, have strange, unsporty powerbands and have a lot more stuff that can break.”

      This can also be said of all the econo-minded forced induction gas engines on the market. I agree about people wanting everything that isn’t available no matter how undesirable it really is. If Europeans could buy gasoline for what we can, they’d be thrilled to have the lighter, smoother, more powerful engines that are best sellers here. Besides, one of these days the diesel advocates of America had better learn about oil refining. Having everyone fight over the portion of each barrel of crude that can be refined into diesel isn’t a smart idea.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Well the dual VANOS and Valvtronic systems, direct injection and what not on the new I-4 doesn’t exactly make it far less complex than the diesel.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      I was there with you on the diesel thing, then I got a brand new E90 320d as a rental in Germany. Relatively quiet, ver useable torque band, and just a beast up to 140mph or so. After hammering it for a week on the Autobahn and country roads, it still returned 40mpg. Now I’m very much interested in the diesel thing. Especially in 320d form.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        For some folks, that 40mpg is great. People have different priorities. I would gladly pay the fuel premium (which wouldn’t even be that much- 500 to 1000 a year depending on the cars) for the better induction sound & response; at least on a fun car. For a daily driver, maybe. But the concept of the “performance diesel” is silly to me

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I’ll make you a prediction: wagons will become more popular in the coming years, they just won’t be called wagons. The crossover will get lower and lighter and, voila, wagons!. Just don’t tell anyone…

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      It’s in fair part a regulatory thing, related to U.S> fuel economy rules. The wagons need to be different enough from sedans to allow them to be classed as light trucks–hence CUVs.

      It allows the sales of more things like Suburbans and F-150s.

    • 0 avatar
      Rental Man

      Check out VW CrossPolo or CrossGolf & so many more. A little raised body (maybe) some sprayed on plastic, Roof Rack, Rims and Front wheel drive. Now people will buy their wagon and call it an SUV. You can get 40MPG in what you can tell people is an SUV and look cool in their own mindes. When the BMW X1 arrived park it next to an Infiniti EX35 and any sedan. They are low and build to stay that way.

    • 0 avatar
      JKC

      You’re right: witness the new Ford Escape, which is really a lifted (and, alas, uglier) Focus wagon.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Since they didn’t bring the last 335d with a manual, I don’t expect the next diesel 3 will come with a manual either.

    Personally, with the 2.0L turbo gas engine making 240hp and returning 33mpg highway, I see little need in a slow, dreary 2.0L diesel (i.e. the one that actually returns an appreciable improvement in fuel economy). You are spending at least $35k on this car… gas prices aren’t going to break you at the 30+mpg range. The 3.0L diesel makes big torque numbers, but the power is still only just marginally better than the 2.0L gasser and the diesel will quickly run out of revs (and, thus, fun).

    Derek – posting 52mpg for the 2.0L diesel isn’t correct on a North America centric site. You don’t say which standard (Euro? British? City? Hwy? Mixed? Urban?) you are using or even if they are imperial or US gallons. It makes a huge difference.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      There is no such thing as a 335D with a manual transmission anywhere – BMW does make such a beast. The “largest” diesel they make with a stick is the 330D. Same basic engine, less boost.

      Having driven the e91 320D (in manual wagon form, no less) I found it a perfect combination of shove and amazing fuel economy. We drove between Vienna, Prague, and Budapest at warp speed getting mid 40s mpg. Sure my 328i is ultimately faster if you rev the nuts off it, but the 320D is a lot more relaxed.

      Sure, driven gently the N20 in the new 328i does very well, but drive it like you stole it and it will suck gas like it is going out of style, just like every other turbo gas motor. And I fail to see how the injection system in the N20 is any less complicated.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Some googling shows that common rail diesel is on the order of 10k PSI for fuel pressure. Direct injection gasoline is an order of magnitude lower (~1k PSI). If anyone has hard and fast numbers, I’d love to see them.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @Quentin the pump has always been the part that’s more complex on a diesel engine as apposed to a comparable petrol engine. I doubt that the CDI pump will be re-built on a modern diesel, but on the other hand the same probably holds true for a GDI pump, so from a economic standpoint the two issues left are; is one more prone to failure the the other, and what do they cost.
        The diesel also does away with the Vanos and Valvtronic system in the gas engine.

      • 0 avatar
        GiddyHitch

        “Having driven the e91 320D (in manual wagon form, no less) I found it a perfect combination of shove and amazing fuel economy.”

        +1

        I remember thinking that this is a diesel that would actually work on US roads, unlike a lot of the pokey oil burners that they run in Europe.

    • 0 avatar

      MT is never an option with335d instead ZF AT is the default unit. In BMW’s defense, it will be cost prohibitive to manufacture MT for 335d due to 425 lb/ft. I’m unsure if you can handle the fact that common-rail is running with 26k PSI which is much higher than its petrol cousin – 335i. It is one of the most reliable BMW that I have owned. I’ve zero unscheduled dealership visit since my European Delivery 18 months ago. I rate my ownership experience on par with my Toyotas.

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      On a long run, I get 55mpg (imperial gallons) from my E90 320d here in the UK. The official BMW figures are something crazy like 63mpg (imperial), so Derek’s figure of 52mpg is probably right, if converted into US gallons.

      Fuel costs aside, one of the great benefits of a diesel engine is touring range. I can get almost 700 miles from a tank, which is great for road trips.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “You don’t say which standard (Euro? British? City? Hwy? Mixed? Urban?) you are using or even if they are imperial or US gallons. It makes a huge difference.”

      It isn’t just the conversion factor. European mileage estimates are far more optimistic (read: less accurate) than the EPA test cycle.

      For example, the 2.0 liter 140 hp Golf TDI is rated in the UK of having mileage in town of 46.3 and mileage out of town of 68.9. Convert this to US mpg, and the rating is 39/57.

      The EPA rating for the 2.0 liter 140 hp Golf TDI is 34/42. Not even close to the UK cycle, especially for highway mileage.

      If you check this against other cars, both diesel and gas, you will find the same sort of difference. The EPA ratings will be considerably lower than the European results, every time. For all of the complaints that some people may have about the EPA ratings, they are far more useful than what you can find elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      danwat1234

      52MPG won’t happen in the USA due to stricter emissions requiremenents. Think VW Passat numbers.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    It’s good to hear that I’ll get a choice between a Sport Wagon or X3 when the lease on my 2011 Sport Wagon runs out. A diesel powertrain in the US might just seal the deal for me.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to discount the possibility of the diesel this time around. I think the engines are slowly regaining favor in the US as people forget about the horrors of the diesels of the ’70s and ’80s. IMO, the only real downside is that damn urea injection system in most cars today.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    If BMW could convince me that I could drive this for 8 years with little trouble, I’d be willing the lay out the money for a 328i sport wagon w/ the turbo 4 and a 6MT. The “nuances” with our MINI and friends’ BMWs makes me uncomfortable with making that sort of commitment. It certainly is a handsome vehicle.

  • avatar

    So does it say diesel model for US?

    And what about the manual? “Surely”?

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    I don’t care if the a pillars are too big, or if the bastids at BMW put those damnable runflats on it. Its’s an AWD stick wagon that rips to 60 in less than 6 seconds, gets 30+ mpg, comes with a sport package, and comes with a stick. did I mention that it comes with a stick? I’ll be there to take one. in red.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “Diesels are torquey and efficient, which is great for say, a Toyota Corolla. But they sound bad, have strange, unsporty powerbands and have a lot more stuff that can break.”

    I suck at mechanical things but my limited knowledge tells me diesel engines are simpler mechanical items prone to longer wear. But I might be wrong. Torque is usually greater as well, which is what you need off the line to get your mass in motion.

    Highly intriguing development on BMWs part. They’ll sell well in tech areas…but I don’t see anything over 5k in sales a year….

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Diesels were simple and durable things before high pressure common rail injection, sequential turbocharging, and emissions controls of unimaginable complexity became the norm. All bets are off on the current stuff.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Towing capacity?

    If it can tow my 4′x8′ utility trailer, it’d be the first BMW I’d consider.

    The only downside is that BMW seems to be German for “I will cut you off in three… two…. One…. OMFG slam on your brakes!”. I’d probably remove the branding and replace it with my own artwork, to avoid being associated with THOSE people.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Towing capacity?

    If it can tow my 4′x8′ utility trailer, it’d be the first BMW I’d consider.

    The only downside is that BMW seems to be German for “I will cut you off in three… two…. One…. OMFG slam on your brakes!”. I’d probably remove the branding and replace it with my own artwork, to avoid being associated with THOSE people.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Considering the number of BMW wagons towing enormous campers all over Europe, I doubt it would have any problem towing a 4×8 trailer.

      Jealousy is an ugly emotion.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        What you can tow is more strictly regulated in Europe, and European caravans are usually far lighter then their american counterpart, so don’t read to much into the size of the campers. When I’m on the subject of size I would like to quote a post-coital remark made by the author and hobby alchemist Strindberg to his wife “The fact that the nut is to large, does not mean that the bolt is to small”.

        A 4X8 trailer however should not pose any problem unless you’re hauling depleted uranium.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t hate ! My 335d AKA torque beast has 425 lb/ft which is way more torquey than RAM 1500 or Ferrari F430. Oh yeah, I’ve witnessed Europeans tow small sailboat with their 335d.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    I think the more important question is: if BMW brought a manual, diesel 3-series wagon to the US, will it sell? Will people supposedly dreaming about it actually buy the thing, in sufficient numbers?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “if BMW brought a manual, diesel 3-series wagon to the US, will it sell?”

      Between January and April of this year, US sales of the 335d totaled 688 units. Makes the Volt look like a runaway success story.

      • 0 avatar

        You are comparing apples to oranges. Those are left over 2011 MY E90 335d which BMW stop manufacturing since the 3Q 2011. If you bother to compare 335d versus 335i, then the take rates for prior year is close to 50/50 . Lest forget 80% of the 3 series sales belong to 328i.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “You are comparing apples to oranges.”

        Please. Sales of the car were always dismal.

        I just don’t get diesel fanaticism. These cars are not popular in the United States. Even the Jetta diesel, which is the only one that manages to achieve any sort of volume, sells in only modest numbers.

      • 0 avatar

        “Please. Sales of the car were always dismal.”

        The numbers can be further skewed by comparing 335d against Prius. Are you comparing Jetta TDI versus its petrol cousins?

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Diesel fanaticism is a mystery. I have a mild case, but can’t say why.

        There are all these old Mercedes diesels running around, but they aren’t the same as the new complex ones that are likely less durable than their gas counterparts.

        There is the ability to burn bio diesel and other stuff, but you likely won’t ever try it, and the fancy new diesels are likely to reject anything impure.

        OTOH, there is all that torque and power at low revs along with efficiency. It’s performance for legal road use rather than high rev, money wasting performance for track cars. Combined with a wagon or SUV or minivan and you get a a better solution for the practical owner.

        The Jetta salesman says he will sell a gas wagon, but he won’t order it without a contract. He is giving only nominal discounts on his wagons and can’t get enough to meet demand. I would buy one in a minute if I were comfortable in it (I have an odd shape).

        Lastly, there is that old thing of wanting what you can’t have. I don’t think that’s it, and never did about the euro cars we couldn’t get. If you Americanize something right, or bring in the right solution, then it will sell.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The numbers can be further skewed by comparing 335d against Prius.”

        There’s no skewing. “Clean diesels” are less than 1% of the US market. Only a fanatic could argue that this comprises a substantial share of the market.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “there is all that torque and power at low revs along with efficiency.”

        All internal combustion motors are highly inefficient. Most of the energy in the fuel is lost to heat, not converted into power.

        I fear that a lot of this comes from the average person’s erroneous belief that MPG = efficiency. Diesel fuel is a heavier fuel that contains more oil than does gasoline. The fuel isn’t better, worse or more efficient, it just takes up less space. If we bought fuel by the pound, then we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      • 0 avatar

        ” There’s no skewing. “Clean diesels” are less than 1% of the US market. Only a fanatic could argue that this comprises a substantial share of the market.”

        So, shall you be comparing 335d against Volt or 335i?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I can see that this is going to be painful.

        The previous poster was wondering whether a BMW wagon would sell. Recent sales numbers suggest that the answer to the question is: just barely.

        Again, only a fanatic could dispute this. And of all of the things to be fanatical about, this one is one of the most dubious.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        PCH,
        The driver rightly concerns himself with the cost per mile. He can also value reduced refuel stops since all these fuels are cheap compared with value of time for most workers. I made a rather nice post which was in no way confrontational, but I can see the conversation is over. And yes, BMW would be lucky to double wagon sales in the US by selling another one next year, and some people are excited about that.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The driver rightly concerns himself with the cost per mile. He can also value reduced refuel stops since all these fuels are cheap compared with value of time for most workers.”

        “Efficiency” is a measure of the proportion of energy that gets converted into usable power. It isn’t a measure of cost or the distance that one can travel with a tank of fuel.

        I’m simply pointing out the degree which this terminology is abused. An engine isn’t more “efficient” simply because it uses fuel that weighs more.

        A lot of the comments made on car forums by diesel proponents are woefully inaccurate. I don’t have a problem with diesel, but I absolutely object to half-truths and factual distortions.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        You are not entitled to misinterpret a statement to suit yourself. You know the meaning intended for efficiciency in this context. It’s not about molecules and watts. If you want to claim victory on semantics go ahead. In the future, just post, “I win”. We will agree, and then go on without you.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “You are not entitled to misinterpret a statement to suit yourself.”

        When people confuse MPG with “efficiency” and make grandiose statements based upon that confusion, there’s no misinterpretation in pointing out that they got it wrong. MPG is not a measure of efficiency.

        Nor are the other things that you mentioned. Stop trying to move the goalposts in order to serve your position.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Fine you win.

        Diesels are not more efficient in that they use less energy, they just cost less to operate assuming the usual ratio of cost between diesel and gasoline.

        Happy?

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Diesel’s are superior in the efficiency department, no ifs and buts about it, so the energy put in to the engine will produce more work than any other combustion engine. But yes one unit of volume of diesel will contain slightly more energy compared to the same volume of gasoline.
      However I sincerely hope that diesels never ever takes of in the US as the excess diesel produced by US refiners is sold to Europe, keeping the price down over here.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “yes one unit of volume of diesel will contain slightly more energy compared to the same volume of gasoline.”

        The difference isn’t slight, it’s about 15-20%. Which, not coincidentally, equates to much of the MPG difference between comparable vehicles.

        The thermal efficiency of both gas and diesel engines is low. A gas engine is about 25% efficient, a diesel engine about 30% efficient. In both cases, most of the energy is lost before it gets converted into usable power.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        Pch101

        Well, simply put you’re wrong. Diesel contains slightly under 10% more energy per unit of volume than gasoline. A Jetta TDI, as an example, has a thermal efficiency above 40% at optimum load. The superior way the diesel moderates power – by regulating fuel and not using a throttle – also means that the diesel ha considerably better efficiency at partial loads compared to a gaser. A gas engine will never be able to touch the thermal efficiency of a diesel unless somebody manages to get the gas engine to run ridiculous compression ratios without premature detonation, a.k.a. make it a diesel.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Diesel contains slightly under 10% more energy per unit of volume than gasoline”

        I don’t really know where you’re getting your information, but it’s inaccurate.

        A US gallon of gasoline contains about 114,000 BTUs. A US gallon of E10 blended gasoline has a bit under 112,000 BTUs.

        A US gallon of diesel #2 contains about 129,500 BTUs. You can do the math.

        The specific gravity of gasoline is also correspondingly lower. The math for that will provide similar results.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    I’m still not liking the droopy dog front end upper. But i like that there is an actual greenhouse here. The rear seat belt placement is an unfortunate deal breaker for me. Worse than the A4, this looks to have the two outboard positions well in from the door, eliminating the chance for 3 car seats across in the back with LATCH attachments. No sale.

  • avatar

    diesel powered cars are fast + efficient + long-lasting = it’s in their DNA.

    1976 is the year … when a 5-cylinder diesel powered Mercedes benz car achieves 0-60 miles per hour time of ~4.7 (four point seven) seconds and a top speed of 186 (one hundred eighty six) miles per hour … and breaks every single record (mph, mpg, etc for 10,000 miles).

    Wait for it … using old tires and 14″ wheels, a 1976 Mercedes Diesel car is faster or as fast as the following A-to-Z cars 0-60 mph:

    1991 Acura NSX 5.7 seconds
    1977 AMC Gremlin 17.8 seconds (Garth, I know you’re listening)
    2007 Audi S8 L with the 12-cylinder engine: 5.0 seconds
    2011 Alfa Romeo MiTo Veloce: 7.5 seconds
    2000 Ariel Atom: 5.5 seconds
    2010 Aston Martin DB9: 4.7 seconds
    2009 Bentley Continental GT: 4.7 seconds
    1996 BMW 850Ci: 6.4 seconds
    2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster: 4.7 seconds
    1987 Buick Regal GNX: 4.6 seconds (ok, you got me with faster tires)
    2004 Cadillac CTS-V: 5.0 seconds
    1991 Chevrolet Corvette (Callaway Twin Turbo): 4.7 seconds
    1995 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1: 4.8 seconds
    1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1: 5.2 seconds
    2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS: 4.8 seconds
    2005 Chrysler 300C SRT8: 4.6 (ok, you got me with faster tires)
    1983 Datsun 280ZX Turbo: 7.2 seconds
    1985 Detomaso Pantera GT5-S: 5.3 seconds
    1997 Dodge Viper RT/10: 4.6 (ok, you got me with faster tires)
    1995 Eagle Talon TSi: 6.3 seconds
    1997 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta: 4.7 seconds
    2012 Fiat 500 Abarth Edition: 6.7 seconds
    2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT-H: 5.2 seconds
    1993 Geo Storm GSi: 8.6 seconds
    1993 GMC Typhoon: 5.2 seconds
    2008 Honda S2000 CR: 5.6 seconds
    2003 Lingenfelter Hummer H2: 6.3 seconds
    2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec: 5.0 seconds
    2011 Infiniti M56s: 4.8 seconds
    1992 Isuzu Impulse RS: 7.6 seconds
    2004 Jaguar XJR: 4.9 seconds
    2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT (6.1L Hemi): 4.7 seconds
    2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo: 6.1 seconds
    2004 Koenigsegg CCR: 3.7 (ok, you got me with a supercar)
    1995 Lamborghini Diablo VT: 4.6 seconds (ok, you got me with faster tires)
    2010 Range Rover Supercharged: 5.0 seconds
    2010 Lexus IS 350 C: 5.7 seconds
    2012 Lincoln MKS (3.5L EcoBoost): 5.3 seconds
    2011 Lotus Evora IPS: 4.9 seconds
    2012 Maserati Quattroporte S: 4.8 seconds
    2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring: 6.8 seconds
    2011 McLaren MP4-12C: 2.9 seconds (ok, you got me with a supercar)
    2008 Mercedes CL63 AMG: 4.2 (ok, you got me with faster tires)
    2003 Mercury Marauder: 6.8 seconds
    2013 Mini Cooper Countryman JCW Edition: 6.1 seconds
    2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR Touring: 5.2 seconds
    2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster Touring: 5.0 seconds
    1969 Oldsmobile 442: 5.8 seconds
    1999 Plymouth Prowler: 5.7 seconds
    2002 Pontiac Firebird (LS1): 5.0 seconds
    2011 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet: 6.4 seconds
    2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX Electric Hybrid Prototype: 8.0 seconds
    2011 Saab 9-5 Aero Turbo 6 XWD: 6.0 seconds
    2008 Saleen S281 3V Mustang: 5.0 seconds
    2007 Saturn Sky Redline: 5.1 seconds
    2013 Scion FR-S: 5.9 seconds
    1992 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C: 4.7 seconds
    2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI: 5.0 seconds
    2009 Suzuki XL7 2WD: 7.8 seconds
    1997 Toyota Supra Turbo: 5.0 seconds
    1980 Triumph TR8: 8.4 seconds
    2012 Volkswagon GTI Edition 35 DSG: 5.4 seconds
    2012 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design: 5.1 seconds

    sources:
    A. 0 to 60 mph times http://www.zeroto60times.com/
    B. http://www.insideline.com/mercedes-benz/1976-mercedes-benz-c111-iid.html
    C. and others

  • avatar

    performance results speak for themselves in Le Mans winners:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/alternative-fuel/diesel/le-mans-diesel-winners

    Imagine a racing fan who suffers a coma-inducing trauma in 2002. After peacefully sleeping for eight years, our fan awakens clear-headed and realizes it’s time to turn on the television in his recovery room to watch the French road-racing classic.

    He marvels at the assembled grid for the 2010 Le Mans. He quips that the 911s still look the same, and he recognizes the Aston Martins. All is well until he hears that the front-running prototypes are all diesel-powered. The shock is nearly enough to send him back into a comatose state.

    How did this happen? What changed in the world of racing that diesels are winning at Le Mans?

    The big picture in endurance racing is that there are five main contributing elements to winning; fuel economy, tire performance, weather, traffic and a bit of luck. The latter three elements can’t be controlled, leaving auto manufacturers to focus on the former two. Of these, the carmaker can only genuinely affect fuel economy since tire performance is the responsibility of independent tire makers.

    How Manufacturers Found Diesel
    It was one manufacturer’s recognition of the importance of fuel economy that changed everything. Audi decided to look at how to improve their vehicles’ average speed at endurance events, and deduced that fewer fuel stops would be an integral key. Among the solutions was efficient diesel power. There was one big hurdle to overcome, however: Would the rules allow oil burners on the famed circuit in Sarthe, France?

    To answer this question, you just need to look back when Penske Racing looked at the rules for the 1994 Indianapolis 500. Back then, Penske discovered that it was legal to run high boost levels on big-cube pushrod engines. The company made changes to its cars and trounced the competition that year. Similarly, Audi looked at the rules for Le Mans and saw caps on displacement but open rules regarding combustion cycles.

    “Diesels could always run at Le Mans,” says Scot Elkins, Vice President of Operations at the American Le Mans Series. “One of the great things about their rules package is that it allows for creative solutions,” he says. “It’s not at all like spec engine series. Audi was simply the first to realize what the rules allowed.”

    After fielding the gasoline-powered R8R and R8 prototype racers beginning in 1998, Audi sought a better solution. While its direct-injected gasoline engines were more efficient than engines with port fuel injection, Audi was after even more efficiency. It’s not that the R8 was not successful. In fact, it was the most successful Le Mans prototype ever. In 2004, the gasoline-powered, turbocharged and direct-injected 3.4-liter R-8 took the pole and later the checkered flag in 2004 with a fastest lap of 3 minutes 34.264 seconds, averaging 142.49 mph.

    Introducing the R10
    The 2005 season would be the R8′s last full competition docket, supplanted by the car that stood endurance racing on its ear. The new Audi prototype was the R10, a V12, twin-turbocharged, direct-injected diesel. For the 2005 and 2006 seasons, the 5.5-liter engine produced 650 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque.

    The results were almost immediate, proving that diesels could win at Le Mans. Audi pilot Rinaldo Capello put an R10 on the 2006 Le Mans pole with a 3:31.211 lap at 144.57 mph. While lap speeds for the diesels weren’t considerably faster than those of the gasoline-powered cars they replaced, the diesels could go longer between fuel stops.

    The R10 went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

    The R10 featured Audi’s TDI diesel engine technology (turbocharged direct injection). According to Dr. Ullrich Baretzky, the Head of Audi Motorsports Engine Development, what Audi learns on the track has an influence on its production vehicles. For example, Baretzky told PM, “fuel-injection pressure levels are key to engine efficiency. In 2004, when we started the development of the R10, our diesel road cars had an injection pressure of 1600 bar,” he says. “We are now running over 2200 bar in the R15, and our road cars, starting in 2008, used increased pressures of 2000 bar. It took only four years for what we learned on the racetrack to be in our diesel road cars,” Baretzky says, “And the process continues.”

    Catching On to the Quiet Efficiency of Diesels
    The efficiency of the diesel helped Audi win, but Peugeot was quick to recognize Audi’s plans. The French manufacturer is among the world’s leaders in clean-diesel technology and began a diesel racing program that showed well at Le Mans in 2008 and won in 2009.

    Meanwhile, Audi introduced the R15, its second-generation diesel racer. Audi attempted to make the R15 lighter, more aerodynamic and faster. “By eliminating two cylinders,” Baretzky said, “we were able to shorten the engine by 10 mm. This aided in a 10 percent weight reduction and better aerodynamics because of the smaller engine package.” The 90-degree 5.5-liter V10 makes nearly identical power to the V12.

    For those who have heard the R10 or R15 at the track, their eerie quietness at wide-open throttle is a curiosity. This, Ullrich says, is a sign of the R15′s efficiency. “Some people have the imagination that a race car should be loud, but that noise is wasted energy. The turbochargers capture the maximum amount of energy coming out of the exhaust and put it to use.” Even the twice-spent exhaust flow is useful—the exhaust tips exit out the top of the engine compartment and are directed at the rear wing to generate additional downforce.

    The diesels are quiet as well as smoke-free. The Audi R15 runs on a special form of gas-to-liquid (GTL) diesel refined from natural gas by Shell Oil in Malaysia. The GTL is a particularly clean-burning diesel, and the remaining exhaust is scrubbed by two particulate filters. Many see GTL as a precursor to the process that may be used to synthesize biofuels from algae or waste products.

    How the Drive Differs
    Diesels do drive differently than gasoline-powered cars. Low revs are characteristic of diesel engines, with the R15′s top rpm being in the range of 5000. Torque is also greater at lower rpms, and this makes for a different driving style. Pilots in diesel racers shift less often than in gasoline-fueled cars. The torque curves of diesels also change the way some drivers exit corners, because so much torque is available.

    We asked Audi driver Alan McNish about what it is like to drive the R15. Compared to the R10, “it’s a whole new ballgame,” McNish says. “It’s much more on its toes compared to the R10 and the R15 is more refined, not as much of a beast,” he says. “I can do a lot more with it because the balance is so much better.”

    As the once-comatose patient watches the 2010 running of Le Mans, he may realize that diesels rule in the French countryside—they make adequate power yet burn less fuel. The racing programs are supported by manufacturers who have a stake in seeing diesel succeed, and their related consumer-oriented vehicles benefit from the racing effort.

    Now the only question is: Who will win, Audi or Peugeot?

    Read more: Diesels From Audi and Peugeot at Le Mans – Why Audi and Peugeot Diesels Rule the Le Mans Raceway – Popular Mechanics

    • 0 avatar

      It gets better. Audi diesel powered R-18 took unprecedented 1-2-3-4 sweep in second round of FIA WEC 9 days ago.

      ref: http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/le-mans-audi-sweeps-six-hours-of-spa/

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      I’m a huge fan of racing diesels, rotarys, turbines or anything that’s slightly kooky. However, the results in LeMans and similar competitions where the diesel triumphs is more due to the fact that the rules favor turbo diesel technology with the way power is calculated than the superiority of the fuel, and the fact that Audi spends about what they would for a bid at the podium in F1.

      • 0 avatar

        The rules initially favor diesel because nobody can visualize what Audi TDI will do at Le Mans Series. However, LMP1 racers are only allow to carry 60 liters versus petrols’ 90 liters for 2012 series. I guess FIA is trying to make sure TDIs will take more pitstops. It is getting pathetic.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Screw Diesel! The pertinent question is, will there be a wagon bodied F30 M3?


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