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BMW to debut 3-Series diesel at New York show

by Andrew Ganz

BMW will unveil a four-cylinder diesel-powered 3-Series at the New York show next month.

BMW is taking a different direction for its second U.S.-market diesel-powered 3-Series, the automaker will reveal at the New York International Auto Show in late March.

Instead of the high-performance six-cylinder seen under the outgoing 335d's hood, the new 3-Series diesel will use a four-cylinder unit tuned more for fuel economy. The short-lived 335d cranked out 265 horsepower and a solid 425 lb-ft. of torque, but it wasn't a strong seller despite offering the best fuel economy in BMW's 3-Series range at the time. The 335d was offered from 2009 to 2011.

BMW hasn't revealed specifications for the next 3-Series diesel, but the automaker has confirmed that the new engine will be offered in both sedan and wagon forms when it hits the market as a 2014 model next fall.

That will give BMW its broadest 3-Series lineup ever in this market: Three gasoline engines (two versions of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo and a 3.0-liter inline six turbo), one diesel and one hybrid plus five bodystyles (coupe, sedan, convertible, wagon and Grand Touring five-door).

The 3-Series diesel sedan and wagon models are the first of six diesel BMWs set to arrive here in the next 18 months. Yet to come are a 5-Series diesel during late 2013, a diesel version of the next-generation X5 by the end of the year, a 7-Series diesel in the first half of 2014 and an X3 diesel shortly thereafter.