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Old 01-26-2012, 12:28 PM
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New diesel M Performance BMWs, hydrogen LMP racer and MG Touring Car ...

BMW today announced the addition to the line-up of four 'M Performance' models; the M550d xDrive Sedan, M550d xDrive Touring, X5 M50d and X6 M50d. These represent the first 'M' cars powered by a diesel engine. Needless to say this is not any diesel engine but a brand new, three litre straight-six, equipped with no fewer than three turbochargers with variable geometry. Producing 375 bhp, it has a specific output of 125 bhp/litre, which is more than remarkable for a diesel engine. Even more impressive is the torque of 740 Nm or 546 ft lbs. Also part of the 'M Performance package is a specifically tuned chassis, an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive on all four models.
Following the launch of the hybrid Toyota TS030 earlier this week, we can now showcase an even greener (no pun intended) LMP racer; the GreenGT H2. Although it is not eligible to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it is scheduled to take to the track during the official test day two weeks ahead of the race. Built around a conventional composite monocoque, the H2 features twin electric motors that are fed by a hydrogen fuel cell. While the car has not yet been completed, development is ongoing and for 2013, the small French manufacturer hopes to lower the weight and increase the radius.
Since returning to the British market under Chinese ownership, MG has struggled to sell cars. The latest attempt to grab the attention of the customers is an assault on the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with a MG 6 GT prepared by the vastly experienced Triple Eight Race Engineering Team. Among the drivers signed is the BTCC's most successful driver; Jason Plato.

Enjoy the links:

2012 BMW X6 M50d - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 BMW X5 M50d - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 BMW M550d xDrive Touring - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 BMW M550d xDrive - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 GreenGT H2 - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 MG 6 GT BTCC - Images, Specifications and Information
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:32 PM
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Sign me up for the wagon. Just a lease, though, so I can give it back when the warrantee is up!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:38 PM
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Eight speeds and a diesel inline six sounds like an eighteen wheeler to me... Any of you who've driven one of the new 7+ speeds from the Germans or Japanese, do you think they'd pair well with a diesel?

Also, have any UCPers seen a modern (Chinese) MG in the wild? I realize I don't live in a country they're sold in but I feel like I've never seen them in (pictures of) European streets, either.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:29 AM
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I believe MG, literally, only sold a handful of cars in 2011. They are owned by the eighth largest manufacturer, so there should be funds available to sustain the inevitable losses for now.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:22 AM
MilesR MilesR is offline
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A 7+ speed gearbox would probably make much more sense for a diesel than for a petrol engine. Petrol engines have torque bands running from 1,500 or 2,000 RPM up to 6,000 or more RPM. For a small, car-sized diesel, peak torque arrives at 1,500 or 2,000, and the power lasts to 4,000 RPM, with the torque declining as the revs increase beyond about 2,500 RPM. They have a very narrow, peaky torque band. Petrol engines can get by with two gears, if they need to, while a diesel simply could not. Diesels work best if their speed can be kept constant, at about 2,000 RPM, as the car accelerates. That is why trucks have up to 16 ratios available.

Wouter, one of the most striking features of these BMW diesels is their fuel consumption, especially considering their size, their four-wheel drive system and their performance. This is also true for an increasing number of newly launched cars. Might it be worth including a box for reported fuel consumption, in the specifications for a car, when the information is available?
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:39 PM
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So theoretically, a CVT would work well on them. I wager most diesels put out too much torque for a CVT though; I heard they tended to be fragile though there's been some improvement in that department.

In any case, I'd love to drive one with a standard shift. I'm no fan of all-wheel-drive unless I live in the snowbelt, but in this case the motor puts out enough torque that I can see why BMW chose to standardize it on these models.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:17 PM
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Yes, in theory a CVT would be perfect, but as you say, the torque is probably far beyond what conventional CVTs can currently handle. As far as I know, the highest torque car engine that currently drives through a CVT is the Nissan 3.5L NA petrol engine from the Maxima/Teana/Cefiro/Altima and the Murano, which would have about half the torque of this BMW diesel. They are also used in combine harvesters, but in this case they use a hydrostatic system, which I would guess is not efficient enough for use in a car, or at high speeds.

I do not much like the idea of the automatic gearbox, or the four wheel drive, in something badged as an M sport model, but as you say, it is probably necessary to make the torque manageable.

Last edited by MilesR; 01-27-2012 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:58 PM
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Yeah, hydrostats are hard workers (have one in my lawn tractor), but they don't occur to me as being terribly efficient either.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:37 AM
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I really like the BMW M diesel range. Bmw make great engines which are efficient and powerful like the 535d, now they’ve made a diesel with more power which will still be pretty good to the gallon and will still be sporty like the petrol M cars. Go BMW.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesR View Post
Wouter, one of the most striking features of these BMW diesels is their fuel consumption, especially considering their size, their four-wheel drive system and their performance. This is also true for an increasing number of newly launched cars. Might it be worth including a box for reported fuel consumption, in the specifications for a car, when the information is available?
Well, could be interesting but first there are different measurement cycles, (US and European) and on top of that, manufacturers these days are very clever at producing figures to show what the engine/car can do under theoretical circumstances, while in practice these mileages can never be achieved. (In Europe we have this rule on the average CO2 output a manufacturer has to adhere with with all cars from his range, so every gram reduction does help, whether it is practically achievable or not)
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:28 PM
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^^^ Yes but BMW does make very Fuel Efficent engines. Better than some other diesel engines in some cars.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:36 PM
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I know that the standards vary, but the comparison, if rough, can still be interesting. In this case, the 0-100km/h acceleration of the M550D is the same as for the Lotus Esprit, in either S4 turbo, or V8 form. I seem to remember reading that the fuel consumption of the V8 Esprit was something like 12-18L/100km, and yet the BMW, with twice as many doors and seats, probably 50% more weight, four wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, claims 6.4L/100km. Even if that consumption is not routinely achievable, the difference is amazing, and the combination of statistics illustrates the advances in car design better than other performance measures do in isolation.

Also, revisions to standards and testing methods are normally intended to produce more realistic measurements, so the discrepancy between the real and claimed fuel consumptions should, in theory, diminish as measuring methods are updated. The Japanese introduced such a change, at the end of last year, while the Americans did the same in 2008. Australian measurements tend to be achievable, by sensible driving. This seems to be a rare case of Europe having lower standards, and hopefully, they will be updated before too long.

Anyway, it was just a thought.

Last edited by MilesR; 01-28-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:31 PM
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owning a high performance BMW diesel i can attest to its fuel economy and power. The d does excellent on the highway, insane amounts of passing power without downshifting all while getting really great mileage.

on a recent trip from Orlando, FL, to NYC, the first tank of fuel, 540 miles at an average speed of 83mph yielded 34 mpg. the next tank at a lower average speed yielded 38mpg. A 15 hour trip at 36mpg average, average speed of 78mph. pretty damn good.

Wish I had a third turbo to give me more power up top. after 3k rpm it just kinda runs out of power. I can chip it and get similar numbers to the new triple turbo motors. we'll see
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:03 PM
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A note on these M diesels - due to the standard xDrive, they'll only be available in LHD markets as the xDrive system is not compatible with RHD. Sucks to be us I guess.. we'll have to stick with the regular M models. Sigh...




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