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NY LIVE: BMW details U.S.-bound 328d diesel

BMW\'s 328d is coming to the U.S. soon and it could achieve upwards of 40 mpg.

BMW has finally shown off its new, U.S.-bound, diesel-powered 3-Series, the 328d.

Despite its -28 nomenclature, the 328d will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Rated at 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque, it will send the sedan to 60 mph in about 7.2 seconds. Moreover, BMW estimates that its EPA highway fuel economy figure "could well exceed 40 mpg." Official EPA figures will be out closer to its launch this summer as a 2014 model.

The 2.0-liter engine is essentially the same unit used on the European-specification 320d, but the badge change was implemented for North America since the diesel model will be marketed as a more premium configuration. BMW recently debuted an entry-level 320i powered by a detuned version of the gasoline four-cylinder engine used in the 328i, but it wants to position the 328d in a more upmarket light.

Confused? Here's a breakdown of what to expect for 2014:

Rear-wheel-drive will be standard on the 328d sedan, while BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be optional. The 328d wagon variant will be offered exclusively with all-wheel-drive. An eight-speed automatic will be the only transmission offered in the 328d at launch; a six-speed manual is fitted to the engine in most overseas markets, but it's unlikely to be offered here any time soon.

Like most diesels sold in this market, a urea-based exhaust after-treatment system will be required to meet emissions standards. BMW hasn't specified service intervals, but most similar systems require fluid to be refilled every 10,000 miles.

The 328d will be BMW's second diesel-powered 3-Series to be sold in the U.S. The previous bodystyle 3-Series offered a range-topping 335d, which delivered impressive acceleration but wasn't an especially strong seller. BMW's new strategy here is to offer the diesel as a more eco-minded alternative at a lower price point than before.

Specific pricing and standard/optional equipment details will be announced closer to the 328d's on-sale date. The car is set to go into production around July, which should put it in dealers in late August or early September.

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