One of BMW’s biggest stars at the upcoming Paris Motor Show will be the 535d, which is fitted with a 200 kW twin-turbocharged 3,0-litre diesel engine. We asked BMW SA about the possibility of the 535d coming to South Africa.

With the addition of two-stage turbocharging to the BMW 530d’s three-litre straight six diesel, the unit’s peak power has been increased by 50 kW (from 150 kW) and maximum torque upped to 560 N.m (at 2 000 r/min) from 480 N.m (at 2 000 r/min). Furthermore, BMW claims the 535d’s engine will produce 500 N.m from 1 500 r/min.
BMW’s engineers have apparently overcome the conflict of interest between the “turbo lag” when accelerating from low engine speeds and the availability of high power reserves on fast roads. BMW multi-stage turbocharger technology first pre-compresses intake air in the first turbocharger before the air is further compressed in the second charger through a multi-stage process. Then, under maximum boost of 1.85 bar, the intake air flows through an intercooler directly into the combustion chambers where the enhanced cylinder charge ensured in this manner significantly boosts engine output.
The enhanced responsiveness of the engine is achieved by the second compression stage, which ensures a quick build-up of turbocharger pressure from low engine speeds, to provide an ongoing surge of power all the way to the maximum level. That broadens the engine’s speed range versus the turbocharged diesel engines generally in use today by 500 r/min to a maximum speed of 4 800 r/min, BMW claims.
The Munich-based manufacturer says the 535d, which will be fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission, will accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 6,6 seconds. The new engine complies with the EU4 emission standard and has a particle filter fitted as standard.
525d expected next year
Next year, the BMW 5 Series will also be available in the guise of the 525d powered by a 2,5-litre straight-six common rail turbodiesel.
With a displacement of 2 497 cm3, the new four valves per cylinder straight-six power unit will be fitted with a VNT turbocharger and EU4 emission control technology. It is said to develop maximum output of 130 kW at 4 000 r/min and peak torque of 400 N.m between 2 000 and 2 750 r/min.
BMW claims that 80 per cent of the 525d’s maximum torque will be available between 1 400 and 3 800 r/min. The model will be offered with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.
The BMW 525d is claimed to accelerates from 0–100 km/h in 8,1 ((525d Automatic) 8,3) seconds and a mere 6,5 (8,1) seconds to accelerate from 80–120 km/h in fourth/fifth gear. Top speed is a claimed 230 (227) km/h in sixth gear. On the automatic transmission model, sixth gear is an active economy/overdrive gear.
BMW says overall fuel consumption in the combined EU cycle will be 6,7 (7,8) litres per 100 km. And like the 530d, the 525d fulfils the EU4 emission requirements and comes as standard with a particle filter.
Bad news for the South African market
Speaking to CARtoday.com on Wednesday, BMW South Africa product planning manager Jan Lotter said: “Much to our regret, the 535d’s powerplant is not considered suitable to the warm climate and harsh driving conditions in South Africa. The engine is more suited to the cooler conditions of European climates”.
“The 525d may become available in South Africa at a later stage, but not in the near future. BMW South Africa does not believe that there is currently market demand for that model.
“However, a new two-litre turbodiesel engine will be offered in the 1 Series from the beginning of next year and the X3 2,0d will arrive in April,” Lotter said.