SALZBURG - BMW will deliver its first 7-series V-8 diesels to customers in June. The last time a car was equipped with a V-8 diesel was 15 years ago. GM offered a 5.7-liter Cadillac V-8 diesel in the USA between 1978-1984.
The engine is being made at BMW's plant in Munich. The 740d costs DM130,000 (euro 65,850, $69,800), DM4,300 more than the equivalent 740i gasoline version.
BMW's diesel center in Steyr, Austria, developed the new V-8. The 4.0-liter displacement delivers 245hp and a top speed of 242kph. The sprint from 0-100kph takes 8.4 seconds, even though the car weighs more than 2,000kg. The V-8 engine alone weighs 275kg.
Despite its sports car-like power, the 740d is claimed to handle like a typical 7-series.
The new V-8 also promises to be economical. Technical data reveals diesel consumption of 9.8-liters per 100km.
BMW is unsure how many 7-series customers will specify the V-8 diesel. 'This is an entirely new segment, so we have no experience of how demand might develop,' said BMW Chairman Joachim Milberg.
Sources said BMW expects to sell between 5,000 and 10,000 V-8 diesels before the current 7-series is replaced in 2002.