Tony O'Kane | Jun 30, 2009

BMW HAS UNVEILED its most powerful diesel to date, with the twin-turbo 740d belting out a class-leading 225kW and a huge 600Nm of torque from its three-litre swept capacity.

Going on sale in Europe later this year, the direct-injected twin sequential turbo inline six is an entirely new engine, and although the most powerful oil-burner to be made by the company (capable of launching the big 7 Series to 100km/h in just 6.3 seconds), it's still admirably thrifty.

It consumes just 6.9l/100km and emits 181 grams of CO2 per kilometre, but there's one little problem.

It's not coming here.

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BMW's local arm has passed over the 740d for the Australian market, instead selecting the 730d to be its diesel flagship.

"We decided to go with the 730d for a better price position," said BMW's head of corporate communications, Toni Andreevski.

Indeed, with just 0.1 l/km seperating the fuel economy performance of the 740d and 730d, there's not much between them.

Buyers looking for more power in their 7 Series would also likely be better served by the more powerful twin-turbo petrol powerplants of the 740i and 750i, so the introduction of a hi-po diesel model would likely fragment the range too much for this small market.

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The newly-announced all-wheel-drive 750i xDrive and 750Li xDrive won't be brought over here either.

"We don't offer xDrive on any [non-SUV] passenger cars in Australia," Mr Andreevski said.

"They're primarily targeted towards countries with large snowfalls, and the only people who spend any meaningful amount of time in the snow in Australia tend to drive four-wheel-drives exclusively.

"We don't want to introduce specialised models such as the 750i xDrive into our model portfolio without there being sufficient demand for them."

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What we will get however, is the new M Sports package that will be available on the 2010 7 Series. The M Sports package brings unique chrome-accented front and rear bumpers, lightweight 19 or 20-inch wheels, sports seats and BMW's roll-cancelling Dynamic Drive system.

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Australian pricing and an availability date for the M Sports package has yet to be determined, but the optional sports kit should be available from early 2010.

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