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I've always regarded the NA offering of BMW's as average.

I feel there is no excuse for BMW not allowing diesels into NA. I've seen the test reports on 3,5,7 and the new X diesels and they all seem like promising candidates for buyers in this country. How many MBZ diesels and turbo diesels are out there. Hundreds of thousands.

There are lots of buyers for these cars.

What's your take?

:mad: razzmatazz
 

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How many diesels does MB have in their current lineup??

I rest my case... ;)

In all seriousness, BMW does offer them becasue they don't think it would sell well enought to compensate for the additional fees required to certify and legalize the cars in the US.
 

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Razzmatazz said:
I've always regarded the NA offering of BMW's as average.

I feel there is no excuse for BMW not allowing diesels into NA. I've seen the test reports on 3,5,7 and the new X diesels and they all seem like promising candidates for buyers in this country. How many MBZ diesels and turbo diesels are out there. Hundreds of thousands.

There are lots of buyers for these cars.

What's your take?

:mad: razzmatazz
I must admit, every time that I have been to Europe I have
been amazed at just how many hi-performance Diesel
vehicles are available, and how popular they are
with the motoring public. The latest technological
enhancements have made Diesels more formidable
than ever before. The price of fuel (gasoline) is an
obvious reason for this disparity between here and
there.

The last (new) Diesel automobile that had any measurable retail
success here that comes to mind is the E-Class Mercedes-Benz.
We sold every one that they sent us. The demand was so weak
that it not longer made sense to import them (economies of scale).
We do sell Dodges, and the Cummins Turbo Diesel was
always one of my favorite trucks.

Anyway, there are a few noteable reasons for the failure
of Diesel here in the States:

1) Difficulty in finding Diesel fuel. Notice how Diesel fuel tank
capacity is always much greater than gasoline-powered vehicles.
Very few filling stations carry Diesel any more.

2) Environmental concerns / pollution. Modern Diesels burn
"cleaner" than ever, however the particulates in Diesel emissions
are big and nasty. The smell is awful too... :-/

3) Noise. Diesels have always been extremely l-o-u-d.

4) Performance. O.k., great strides/gains are always being
made in that department... Certainly, time will tell if Diesels
can ever match or exceed the performance of gasoline-powered
vehicles...

Btw, what ever happened to the prediction or popular belief
a while ago that two-stroke gasoline powered automobiles
would be commonplace in the 21st century??

:dunno:
 

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Re: Re: Diesels

Regarding point 4 (Performance), it sounds like the 330d has that pretty well sorted-out w/ its near 300 ft-lbs of torque and a 0-60 of about 7 secs. I think the diff gearing is a bit taller than the gasoline models, so w/ slightly shorter gearing this thing could probably easily keep on w/ 330s and even pass them on the highways.
Despite how tempting these hi-performance diesels sound, i'm still kind of glad we don't have many diesels here yet. The emissions still aren't clean enough. European cities definitely seem more polluted than average american cities for this reason. It sounds like w/ the latest particulate traps and devides that burn off the soot and particulates, they may be getting closer to gasoline engine emissions- but I don't think they're there yet.

Unfortunately, the exhaust pollution problems that we do have seem to mostly come from trucks, buses and older cars. I think I read that almost 90% of pollution is caused by less than 10% of vehicles. Driving around in your SULEV Honda (or 325i), is great, but the government needs to crack down on the real offenders-- I don't understand why this hasn't been done. I think the current crop of cars is so clean that it takes something like the exhaust of 500 current model cars to equal the exhaust of a car from 10-15 years ago.

One other disadvantage of diesels--nose heaviness. Diesel engines are much heavier than gasoline engines due to their more robust construction and iron blocks (necessary due to the high compression forces). This would certainly take some of nimbleness out of the standard BMW driving experience.

Jon Shafer said:


I must admit, every time that I have been to Europe I have
been amazed at just how many hi-performance Diesel
vehicles are available, and how popular they are
with the motoring public. The latest technological
enhancements have made Diesels more formidable
than ever before. The price of fuel (gasoline) is an
obvious reason for this disparity between here and
there.

The last (new) Diesel automobile that had any measurable retail
success here that comes to mind is the E-Class Mercedes-Benz.
We sold every one that they sent us. The demand was so weak
that it not longer made sense to import them (economies of scale).
We do sell Dodges, and the Cummins Turbo Diesel was
always one of my favorite trucks.

Anyway, there are a few noteable reasons for the failure
of Diesel here in the States:

1) Difficulty in finding Diesel fuel. Notice how Diesel fuel tank
capacity is always much greater than gasoline-powered vehicles.
Very few filling stations carry Diesel any more.

2) Environmental concerns / pollution. Modern Diesels burn
"cleaner" than ever, however the particulates in Diesel emissions
are big and nasty. The smell is awful too... :-/

3) Noise. Diesels have always been extremely l-o-u-d.

4) Performance. O.k., great strides/gains are always being
made in that department... Certainly, time will tell if Diesels
can ever match or exceed the performance of gasoline-powered
vehicles...

Btw, what ever happened to the prediction or popular belief
a while ago that two-stroke gasoline powered automobiles
would be commonplace in the 21st century??

:dunno:
 

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483 Posts
Re: Re: Diesels

Jon Shafer said:


<snip>

Btw, what ever happened to the prediction or popular belief
a while ago that two-stroke gasoline powered automobiles
would be commonplace in the 21st century??

:dunno:
Again, emissions. They're starting to crack down on the last bastions of two strokes, boats and garden tools. Outboard motors have probably the highest tech two-strokes out there, with direct injection and all the other trick, but they're still being replaced with four-strokes. Between having to burn oil with the gas and the normal two stroke scavenging problems, I don't think they'll ever get them nearly as clean and four strokes.
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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12,903 Posts
Re: Re: Diesels

Jon Shafer said:


1) Difficulty in finding Diesel fuel.
2) Environmental concerns / pollution.
3) Noise.
4) Performance.

Btw, what ever happened to the prediction or popular belief
a while ago that two-stroke gasoline powered automobiles
would be commonplace in the 21st century??

:dunno:
1) This is an infrastructure problem, just like with other 'alternative fuels' though obviously diesel is more prevalent than LPG or CNG. In my area, diesel is plentiful because of the large number of MB diesels out here.

2) Some of the concerns about diesel emissions are dealt with through a change in fuels from the 'dirty' sulfur-rich diesels (and gas, for that matter; this is one of the reasons gasoline Direct Injection isn't available here) used in the US to low-sulfur diesel, or even biodiesel.

3) This has gotten better. I can tell those old MB diesels coming from a mile away. But if you're stopped at a light next to a VW TDI, you can only tell if your window is rolled down.

4) Diesel power curves are perfect for American triving tastes where people want the feeling of torque. But of course your stupid average American equates that feeling with HP. :banghead:

I think the 2-cycle stuff Jon is refering to are not the traditional MC/outboard/lawnmower type, but the type that was primarily being developed in Australia by a company called Orbit, which promised like emissions with the increased effeciencies of only having 2 cycles. I dunno whatever happened to them, though. :dunno:
 

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Hey Kaz,

Are you old enough to remember the very first
MAZDA marketing campaign? I sure do (circa'71??).
:dunno:

The jingle went something like this:
"The piston engine goes bow-wow-wow-wow-wow, and the MAZDA goes hmmmmmmm"....

Hey Razzmatazz:

How 'bout a Wankel Bimmer???

Can you just imagine?
"Hey Marge, W.T.H. is a Wankel Bimmer"???

:lmao:
 

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King of Rear Clunks
Joined
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12,903 Posts
Jon Shafer said:
Hey Kaz,

Are you old enough to remember the very first
MAZDA marketing campaign? I sure do (circa'71??).
:dunno:

The jingle went something like this:
"The piston engine goes bow-wow-wow-wow-wow, and the MAZDA goes hmmmmmmm"....
I've heard of it, but I wasn't born till '74. :D
 

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Bimmerfest Founder
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15,535 Posts
Not to hijack this thread, but is everyone here aware that
there's a HUGE brou-ha-a-ha brewing
right now between Nissan Motor Co, and BMW AG???

It involves the use of the "Z" nomenclature...

:yikes:

Highly relevant in the present tense, what with the contiguous
launches of the two new "Z cars"...
 

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Isn't Nissan a bit late to complain? I mean how long has the Z roadster/coupe been out? Also what about the Z28, which predates the original Nissan 240Z?

I don't think they have too much to ***** about.

BTW, I looked at the 350Z over the weekend. Interesting, but not the best looking car I've ever seen. They had it roped off, so I didn't get to sit in it.
 

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Having driven diesel BMW's , the 320d in 2000 being the last time, they are indeed excellent cars. I though the 320d would be an excellent match with an auto transmission because I found that I kept hitting the redline, around 4,500rpm, in just about every gear.

That was probably me though, just used to driving petrol engines, with more driving experience I would have adapted better. Still, with an auto you wouldn't have to worry about the shorter in-gear durations.

As for noise, there is a very slight clatter upon start up, lasting 2 seconds. After that it is very smooth and quiet. From inside, you coulld not tell any difference between a diesel and a a petrol model.
 

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2001 M3:Stick, what else?
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Isn't MB planning to bring some diesels in 2004. I don't see why Diesel ML's or Diesel X5's can't be brought in as they suffer from terrible fuel economy and have laxer emissions standards. VW TDI's have always been very popular here.
 

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My two cents:

Politics, perception, and economics are the reasons why diesels are not the predominant form of internal combustion engines in the US.

Politics - if powerful engines satisfy customer demand, placate the UAW, and please the oil lobby, elected officials are unlikely to pass legislation to support the transition to diesel engines.

Perception - diesels are perceived as slow, dirty, noisy, and require the use of "glow plugs" that prevent immediate starting. Furthermore, they are almost impossible to start in very cold weather without an engine block heater - all of these claims are true of the diesel engines designed twenty years ago.

Economics - this factor alone is probably the most contentious. In order to design a clean burning diesel engine, the fuel sulfur content must be significantly reduced - a sizeable investment for the oil refining business that in the state of California is trying to absorb the cost of billions of dollars because the governmental agencies responsible for cleaning the air and ground water supplies failed to communicate about the problems of MTBE - what a costly mistake for the consumer in California!

High pressure, single rail injection systems coupled with a catalyst converter and a particulate filter promises, in my opinion, to reduce our growing appetite for oil and improve our environment. Yes, this would be very costly, but in my opinion, a very worthwhile sacrifice.

YMMV
 
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