Bavarian Motor Works, better known to most people as just BMW, is apparently working on diesel hybrid versions of its 5-Series sedan and X5 sport utility vehicle, both in time for 2010. This is according to Autocar of the UK, which in turn got their information from an unnamed “BMW engineering source”.
Obviously, the key difference between the Bimmer hybrids and those offered by companies like Toyota (Lexus) is that they are going to run on electricity combined with diesel, rather than being combined with conventional gasoline. It should also be noted that BMW will only go forward with this project if it is actually practical, providing more efficiency and cost effectiveness than a regular diesel. No marketing gimmicks here.
All this said, the above-mentioned source at BMW is still confident that current diesels have hybrids beat. “Hybrid cars are very good for slow and stop-start driving but not so good at higher speeds. Overall, our diesel vehicles are still more economical.” A diesel-hybrid could be even more economical.