A new diesel unit is said to be coming to BMW Group's SUVs -- the X5 and the X6. Autoblog reports that the X5 xDrive40d and the X6 xDrive40d will come in the spring but will only be available on the European market. However, BMW has yet to give an official confirmation.
From the reports, it appears that the engine referred to here is the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight six which has recently found its way under the 7 series sedan's hood. The engine will be featured on the X5's upcoming facelift. The source also mentioned that the unit would have slightly different power and torque figures for the X5 and X6 SUVs with 300 HP and 442lb-ft (600Nm) of torque.
The new powerplant is expected to give these two SUVs with a significant advantage over the competition, most particularly in this diesel-dominated automotive era.
Incidentally, one the most direct competitors, the Mercedes ML 450CDI, uses a 4.0 liter turbocharged V8 to offer the same level of performance (306 HP and 700 Nm). Another rival, the Audi Q7 4.2 TDI, has to use a 4.2-liter V8 to deliver 336hp and 720Nm.
This scenario is similar to what other rivals are in, such as the Range Rover TDV8 or the Toyota Land Cruiser, which also use larger displacement V8 engines to develop even poorer performance.
To sum it up -- virtually all competitors return inferior fuel consumption and economy figures. In comparison, the X5/X6's current top diesel unit is a straight six turbocharged 3.0 liter one that produces 286hp and 428 lb-ft (580 Nm) of torque.
The competition's six cylinder engines such as Mercedes, Audi and Toyota (exclude Land Rover because it doesn't even have one) don't even come close to these figures. Reportedly, it will be matted to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, which will help it achieve its goal of returning competitive fuel economy and emissions figures.