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BMW 740Ld brings diesel to the executive Bimmer

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2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive Sedan Press Photo

The BMW 740Ld xDrive sedan is bringing a diesel engine to the executive sedan of BMW’s US lineup for the first time starting this spring. (Photo courtesy BMW)

I’ve long had a soft spot for the BMW 7 Series. That spot got a little softer when BMW announced the 2014 BMW 740Ld — “d” for “diesel.”

According to the BMW press release, der Siebener will become the latest model to benefit from BMW Advanced Diesel technology in the US in the form of the BMW 740Ld xDrive sedan. It is scheduled to debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February and begin arriving at dealerships this spring, the release said.

The engine is an inline six-cylinder affair, displacing 3.0 liters and churning out impressive numbers — 255 horsepower at 4,000 RPM and 413 ft-lbs of torque on a flat curve between 1,500 and 3,000 RPM. That power gets to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, which helps the stately sedan lay down a scintillating-for-its-size 6.1 0-to-60 MPH sprint. The engine features a single turbocharger, BMW says. It reportedly uses variable vane turbine technology that helps boost low-end torque while allowing for precise control of boost pressure and negating the need for a waste gate. No rice-tastic “tsssh” between the sure-to-be quick shifts of the eight-speed autobox. Sorry, kids.

According to the release, EPA fuel economy estimates are not yet available, but based on the fuel economy results achieved in other BMWs that have used this engine, a 25 to 30% improvement in fuel economy over a comparable gasoline engine 7 could be expected.

Electronically controlled high-pressure direct diesel injection helps the engine reduce its fuel consumption and exhaust emissions and reaches fuel pressures as high as 26,107 PSI, according to BMW. In that same token, BMW says it has used exhaust aftertreatment in three forms: A nox storage catalyst, a diesel particulate filter, and a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system that uses signals from nine exhaust sensors to keep exhaust emissions to a minimum.

While diesels sometimes mean paying a weight penalty — higher compression usually means heavier steel blocks and heads with thicker, more durable walls — the diesel engine in the BMW 740Ld is all aluminum. The Bavarian automaker said it also features hollow camshafts. All this is an effort to not only save weight, but reduce vibration and noise often associated with diesel engines, according to the release, which also noted the engine’s timing chain was moved to the flywheel (back) side of the engine instead of the normal (front) location in a bid to further reduce rotational vibes.

The 740Ld xDrive sedan will be the fifth diesel Bimmer to be sold in the States, joining the 328d (available in both regular and xDrive forms), 328d xDrive Sports Wagon, 535d (available in both regular and xDrive forms), and the X5 xDrive35d Sports Activity Vehicle. Prices for the BMW 740Ld xDrive will start at $83,425, BMW said.

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