In a statement BMW has said that the progress achieved so far in CO2 reduction in Europe is largely due to the use of diesel technology and that diesels are essential to further progress. BMW’s defence of diesel comes in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal that has embroiled VW alongside rising concern over harmful diesel emissions such as NOx and the effectiveness of testing regimes.

BMW said that “meeting future requirements will not be feasible without diesel drive trains, since a diesel engine emits roughly 15 to 20 per cent less CO2 on average than a comparable petrol engine”.

BMW maintains that the EU’s 2020 CO2 target (average 95g/km) in Europe “can only be fulfilled through extensive use of modern diesel engines and further electrification”.