As much as the suits and engineers over at Bavarian Motor Werks want to start shipping diesel-powered vehicles into the United States, they likely won’t be able to do it until at least 2008. The reason that BMW hasn’t already started producing America-bound diesel cars is that they just aren’t meeting the tough emissions standards in California.
Although diesel has come a long way since the extra-loud, extra-polluting units that filled the streets of Europe, oftentimes it still doesn’t burn as “clean” as conventional gasoline. That said, Volkswagen has been selling variants of its diesel line (Golf TDi, for example) in North America for some time already.
According to Tom Purves, CEO of the American wing of BMW, “it will be about two years until we can offer a car in the U.S. [as] we will not do it until we can offer the car in 50 states.” As part of the effort to meet California emission laws, they’re working on selective catalytic reduction, while trying to maintain the “fantastic” performance found in their diesel units.