Let’s say you have $83,425 sitting around and you want to make the most economical choice possible besides, say, a Tesla, or a brace of Prius Plug-Ins augmented by suitcases of cash. Let’s also say that you’re the type of literal-minded decent human being who never once looked at the back of the mighty 750il and said, “Heh. Seventy-five oil. Heh.”
Well then, my good man, BMW has your car.
The new 740Ld is basically a 740Li, only with BMW’s 3.0-liter “TwinPower” turbo diesel straight-six. We’re expecting 255 hp and a robust 413 lb-ft of torque, likely making the “LD” a bit more sprightly in normal urban driving than the boosted gasoline six in the “Li”.
The vast majority of Siebeners in this country probably go out the door on $899/month leases and this diesel variant isn’t likely to change that pattern. One wonders just how cheerfully the typical demographic for this automobile will adjust to standing in filthy puddles of stagnant diesel fuel at truck stops during cross-country trips. Yes, wealthy people used to swallow the indignities of compression ignition in the 300TD era, but that was because Mercedes-Benz basically forced them to do so — and some percentage of them chose instead to risk the wrath of the Federal government to bring in horrifyingly underpowered W123 “230E” sedans. When significant numbers of people are willing to take a chance on their paid-in-cash Benzos being seized at the docks and thrown into the Atlantic Ocean, just to avoid the miseries of diesel fuel, that’s a pretty solid indicator that the quality-of-life issues associated with Rudolf’s Juice are significant.
In a future where the United States adopts a punitive CO2-emissions-based taxation policy for privately-owned automobiles, perhaps in President Hillary’s second term, this 740Ld will be a guaranteed winner. Until then, it will be a curiosity, driven by people who want to make a point.