Does engineering know no limits?
The draw of diesel-powered cars, for many people, is the increased fuel economy they offer. In some cases, diesel cars compete with hybrids in terms of the number of miles a car can be driven on a single gallon of fuel.
Auto writers routinely sing the praises of oil-burning engines because we love the performance, reliability and fuel economy they offer. One of the best is the BMW 335d. If I had purchased a new car this morning, there’s a good chance it would have been the 335d. Today, though, I heard about a new BMW that might be even better. And it’s powered by… gasoline.
Thanks to modern advancements in engineering, if I were to buy a new car tomorrow morning, it might be the latest BMW 328i.
Amazingly, the little 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas engine in the new 328i gets better fuel economy and accelerates to 60 one-tenth of a second quicker than the outgoing 335d.
I never thought I’d see the day, but gas has outperformed diesel.
Admittedly, there’s a bit of a wild card in this scenario. The 328i’s 240-hp and 260-lb-ft of torque don’t match up to the 6-cylinder diesel’s 265 ponies and whopping 425 lb-ft of twist. But the 328i is lighter and more aerodynamic and has BMW’s new 8-speed transmission, which helps the car manage 1 mpg better than the bigger diesel. According to the EPA’s figures, the 328i returns 24 miles per gallon in the city and a mighty 36 mpg on the highway. The 335d falls just short, with 23 mpg city and 36 highway.
Installed in a 3-series with an eight-speed automatic, we estimate that it could hit 60 mph in 7 seconds flat and score (are you sitting?) 34 mpg city and 45 mpg highway.
The writer, Jason Cammisa, then goes on to take a well-placed jab at the Prius, which made me smile inside.
How long before hybrids are made obsolete by gas engines?