BMW EfficientDynamicsBMW have launched four new diesel models here in Malaysia, complementing the existing X5 xDrive30d model. The four are the BMW 320d Sports, the BMW 520d Sports Edition, the BMW X3 xDrive20d Executive Edition and finally the flagship BMW 730Ld, which also so happens to be the cheapest F02 7-Series available in Malaysia.

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The BMW 320d Sports is only RM7,000 more expensive than the BMW 320i. It’s also the 3-Series Sedan with the most torque, save for the 335i Individual and the M3 Sedan. With 177hp and 350Nm, the 320d outshines the 320i’s 156hp and 200Nm of torque. Thanks to that 0 to 100km/h acceleration time is down from the 320i’s 9.8 seconds to 8 seconds in the 320d Sports. Nearly 2 seconds is a big difference in acceleration feel.

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The Sports suffix means that it has the full M-Sport kit – bodykit, seats, aluminium interior trim, 320i Sports wheels, and the M-Sport suspension bits. But it doesn’t have iDrive though, so for that you’ll have to go for the 323i and above variants. The 320d Sports consumes just 6.0 litres of diesel per 100km on an average driving cycle and if you’re on long distance trips it should be even better.

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The BMW 520d Sports Edition has the same engine as the 320d Sports – a 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine with 177 horsepower and 350Nm of torque. 0 to 100km/h takes a little more time at 8.4 seconds because it is a larger car.

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The term Sports Edition means it’s sort of in between a regular 5 and a 5 M-Sport. You have the M-Sport bodykit, M-Sport wheels, M-Sport steering, but no M-Sport seats and M-Sport suspension. So it’s going to be more of a comfort cruiser with the aesthetic go-fast bits tacked on. Like all 5-Series save for the non-SE 523i, you get the latest version of iDrive with the internal hard drive storage and etc.

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Both the 320d Sports and 520d Sports have exhaust tips that points downwards. All the non-M-Sport E39 5-Series used to have this exhaust but the difference is it was hidden behind the bumper, out of sight. But with the M-Sport kits on both the 3 and 5 of this current generation, the bumpers show off the exhaust tailpipe in full glory.

The reason for this is due to the rules set by the German HQ. We get Euro 3 versions of these engines due to our diesel quality which is only just Euro 2M and not the Euro 4/5 capable diesel available in Europe, and amongst the various differences is the fact that the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) has been removed because of the Euro 2M sulphur levels.

For cars without DPF filters, the instruction is to have the tailpipe facing the road, so that the particulates are channeled towards the ground instead of straight out. For owners, if you don’t like the look you can probably get that fixed at JFA in Sunway or something or something. Other than that, BMW says they’ve done adequate testing and the engine should run fine on our Euro 2M fuel, at least within the warranty period.

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The flagship is of course the 730d long wheelbase with the new aluminium crankcase 6-cylinder diesel engine. This is a new generation diesel engine that I had the opportunity to try out matched with a manual gearbox when it was installed in a 330d in Germany. In Malaysia installed in the F02 7-Series, its mated to a ZF 6-speed automatic.

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It’s got 245 horsepower and 540Nm of torque, but consumes 6.9 litres per 100km. The engine felt really amazing in the 330d – unlike other diesel engines its powerband did not taper off at the higher ends of the rev range, which shows somehow with this new generation BMW has managed to control the auto-ignition combustion quite well at high revs. The 7-Series is the only car in Malaysia with this new engine, but the X5 xDrive30d will probably be getting this engine too when its time for it to be facelifted.

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Looking at the 730d at the launch also gave us a sneak peek at changes to the 7-Series offerings when it comes to the 2010 model year here in Malaysia. The rear passengers of all 7-Series variants will now get a proper full-fledged iDrive controller, including this new 730d. Previously, rear passenger iDrive was only available on the 750i. The 740i had the dual rear screens but you had to control it with a remote control, and the user interface was a little limited on features. Now with full rear iDrive on all models, the ceiling air conditioning vents have been removed as part of the spec adjustment, presumably so the same price can be offered.

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Removing the ceiling air conditioning vents is probably good as the option adds a little box in the boot that intrudes into the bootspace which I initially thought was a subwoofer of some kind, but is in fact the aircond compressor. This means 2010 model cars will have more boot space. I don’t think people will miss the ceiling aircond much as there is still the B-pillar and center console air conditioning.

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The following are the prices for the new diesel models:

BMW 320d Sports – RM 255,800.00
BMW 520d Sports Edition – RM 379,800.00
BMW X3 xDrive20d Executive Edition – RM 333,800.00
BMW 730Ld – RM 698,800.00

They include BMW Service Inclusive + Repair for 3 years or 60,000km. Look after the jump for hi-res photos of the three sedans. I kind of missed the X3 that was on display.

GALLERY: BMW 320d Sports Malaysian Launch

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GALLERY: BMW 520d Sports Edition Malaysian Launch

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GALLERY: BMW 730d Malaysian Launch

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