Who Says You Can't Have It All? Not the Europeans . . .

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Mick Jagger once sang that “you can’t always get what you want,” and, to a degree, he was right. As a petrol head and committed environmentalist, I’ve found I’ve had to make compromises. After going crazy in my friend’s Porsche Boxster, I develop a painful pang of guilt of all the resources I wasted in the name of fun. No, really. Likewise, after driving greenly in my Toyota Yaris on a long drive (achieving 50 mpg for anyone who’s interested), I feel like I’ve watched a Russell Brand stand up show (i.e., I feel like my soul is damaged due to the absence of fun). But now it seems like Mr. Jagger’s words are out of date. Apparently, you CAN get what you want . . . .

What if I told you that you could have a premium saloon car with 2-zone air conditioning, rear park distance control, professional radio and multi-function leather steering wheel? And have world renowned driving dynamics, emit less than 110gm/km (the same as a Toyota Yaris diesel) achieve 69 miles per imperial gallon in mixed driving (on the Euro test, no EPA numbers available) AND still get from 0 to 62mph in 8.2 seconds? Are you interested? Well BMW thought you might be.

The East Kilbride News reports that BMW will unveil the “all things to all men” 320d model at the Frankfurt Motor show. It will use BMW’s efficient dynamics package which includes, Auto Start Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and Michelin Energy saver tyres. Due to its low emissions, the 320d is expected to be a big hit with fleets. But private motorists can drive this car and only pay £35 per year in car tax.

Now for the bad news (at least for you good folks in the United States): don’t expect this car on your shores any time soon. The reason (as I’m sure you’ve already figured out) is due to the 1995cc, single turbo charged, oil burning engine. That’s right, it runs on that evil, fuel of Satan, diesel. So, while Europeans are hooning around in this Teutonic oil burner, I suggest that you lobby your representatives (and BMW) to demand cars like this in the United States—all in the name of the environment, of course.

Cammy Corrigan
Cammy Corrigan

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  • Kristjan Ambroz Kristjan Ambroz on Aug 25, 2009

    Well, if only BMW will ever manage to make a car, smaller than the 7 series, which is comfortable for me for more than an hour, and where 4 people of 6'+ can sit comfortably for more than an hour, your statement would carry some merit. The other issue is, that when you spec the 320d to levels, which are 'acceptable' - and I do admit this is relative, you are looking at a very long time, before the car makes economic sense. Admitedly this does change in a stripper model but then again much of the fun component will be missing, unless your only driving is on some sort of alpine passes or mountain roads.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Aug 25, 2009
    Are there any place where one could get a quick breakdown of how much is produced of the various crude oil distillates, and the costs of “biasing” in favor of one vs. another? This is a breakdown of what is typical in the US. Our ratio of gas vs. diesel is about 2:1 (It's a "kid's page", but the data is useful enough for adults.) http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/sources/non-renewable/oil.html#Howused In Europe, the ratio of diesel to gas is about 1:1. The issue isn't so much with the initial set up of the refinery so much as it is with the high costs and low returns of changing them. Refining is a low-margin business, so there is minimal incentive to invest a lot of money in building new ones or extensively modifying old ones. The primary reason why there aren't many refineries being built is not because of regulations, but because it just isn't very lucrative. The money in the oil business is increasingly made in the upstream (controlling and exploring for it,) with the downstream (refining and retailing) being a lot less attractive.
  • Tassos GM TAKES SAFETY VERY SERIOUSLY. UNLIKE TESLA
  • Jkross22 The contrived, forced, overproduced jokes and antics were fun 15 years ago, but it's been the same thing over and over since. The last few years of Top Gear were heading this direction and the 3 were phoning it in. They should have either done something completely different and tried something new. Instead they played it safe.
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  • Ras815 Their naming scheme is almost as idiotic as having a totally separate Polestar brand for EVs that look exactly like...de-badged Volvos. But you can tell it came from the same idiocy.
  • Dukeisduke "The EX naming convention is used for the automaker’s new and upcoming EVs, the EX30 and EX90."Only upcoming when they can figure out the software.
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