What BMW Models Have The N54 Engine?

From 2006 through 2016, BMW developed the N54, a twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol engine. Since the 1986 discontinuation of the BMW M106’s restricted manufacturing, it is BMW’s first turbocharged gasoline engine that is mass produced. The N54 was introduced in the 335i model of the E90/E91/E92/E93 3 Series lineup during the 2006 Geneva Motor Show.

The N54 started to disappear after the 2009 debut of its BMW N55 replacement. The E89 Z4 roadster, which was built until 2016, is the last vehicle to be powered by the N54.

Although the N54 does not exist in a BMW M configuration, it is used in the 1 Series M Coupe, 135iS, Z4 35iS, and 335iS vehicles.

Which Automobiles Had the N54 Engine?

The 2007 335i was where the N54 engine made its debut. 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque were factory-promised by BMW. 310 lb-ft of torque, although unbiased tests put the power closer to over 310. The fact that later models of the N54 received a factory-quoted 335 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque supports those assertions. found in the BMW Z4 sDr35is and the 335is, respectively.

However, there were numerous distinct body shapes and more than two N54 models to pick from. In fact, the BMW 1M used this engine in its more aggressive form, which it shared with the aforementioned 35is-designated automobiles. This car is frequently acclaimed as one of the best-driving BMWs of all time by publications like Car and Driver.

If you want to buy a N54-powered BMW in the US, you can purchase the following:

Each model was, of course, available with a variety of trims and options. The 535 was available in a touring/wagon variant, and xDrive (BMW’s all-wheel-drive system) was also offered in the 3 and 5 Series.

Notably, the early N54-powered 335i and 535i would typically cost less than $10,000, compared to the 1M mentioned, which will cost you close to $40,000 on the low end. There is a N54 vehicle for practically everyone, regardless of price range or desired body style.

Ultimate Guide for BMW N54

The 2007 E90/E92 335i introduced the BMW N54 engine. Later, it was incorporated into a few further models, including the 135i, 535i, and Z4. At the time, the 3.0L inline-6 direct injection twin turbo engine was a completely new path for BMW. Early on, the new design was also plagued by a number of persistent issues.

The N54 can still be difficult to use even after the early bugs are worked out. The factory’s output of 300hp and 300lb-ft might not seem spectacular. Despite this, the N54 went on to establish itself as a legendary performance and tuning engine. For huge power, tuning and upgrading are almost too simple. This article covers every aspect of the BMW N54 twin turbo engine, such as issues, dependability, tuning and upgrading, specifications, and more.

Comparison of the horsepower, dependability, and tunability of the BMW N54 and N55

It’s crucial to take into account the variations between the N54 and N55 powered BMWs before making a decision on a turbocharged 135i, 335i, or 535i. The BMW 335i was the first vehicle to use the N54, which originally went into production in 2006; the N54 was then debuted in 2008 alongside the 135i and 535i. BMW’s N55 engine started being produced in 2009, and it began to phase out the N54 in 2010. However, the dual turbo N54 was still used in the majority of applications created in 2010. In 2011, the N55 formally superseded the N54 (with the exception of the 1M and Z4 35i). Although there are numerous similarities between the engines, this piece will focus on their main distinctions.

The best BMW engine for tuners is the N54.

At the 2006 Geneva Auto Show, the BMW N54 engine made its debut. Later that year, it was installed in the E92 335i for the first time. The N55 straight-six engine, which you may recognize from the M2, M3, and M4, has now taken its position (given- the latter two get the overhauled S55 variant).

The N54 cannot, however, be characterized as an old engine. Numerous BMWs have the mill as their primary engine (including our own 1M), and tuning fans prize it as one of the best engines available. Like the Nissan RB26DETT, the N54 has the potential to go down in history, especially among tuners, according to Carbuzz.

The 3.0 liter straight six engine in the N54 has two small-pressure turbochargers and a 10.2:1 compression ratio. The engine has a steel camshaft, iron cylinder lines, and an aluminum crankcase. The pistons are cast, but the crankshaft and connecting rods are forged. It has an air-to-air intercooler, direct injection, and Bi-VANOS technology.

Three variations of the N54 with power outputs ranging from 300 HP to 340 HP have been sold. The 300 HP motor is 187 kg in weight.

As previously indicated, the N54 debuted with the E9X. Later, it was offered in the E60 5 Series, F01 7 Series, X6 and Z4, although the 1M Coupe was its most well-liked implementation.

The N54 was commended by detractors for its smooth power delivery and BMW’s attempts to minimize turbo-lag, including writers from Car & Driver and EVO. Some even preferred it over the N62 and N63 units, which were more potent.

For instance, Jared Gall of Car and Driver noted that despite the V8’s extra oomph, it was only “marginally faster” than the N54-equipped 535i because the N62’s added weight made the front end of the E60 excessively heavy and dampened the driving experience when compared to the N54.

In contrast, Edmunds rated the N54 7 Series as the most enjoyable F01 to drive, beating out the 750i and the 760Li with a V12 engine.

With straightforward Stage 1 upgrades, several owners have improved the power figures by 15% to 30%. According to what we know, the powertrain and internals of the N54 seem to be capable of handling 400–500 WHP without any problems. In reality, after looking through a few forums, we discovered a few instances of the N54 producing more than 700 WHP(!) — for instance, this YouTube user, whose car can produce 753 WHP.

The N54 has its fair share of issues. As a result of the frequent reports of high-pressure fuel pump (HPFP) failures, BMW was forced to recall various models in 2010. In addition, numerous owners have reported turbo failures caused by wastegate issues, and BMW USA has increased the warranty for this condition to eight years. Finally, carbon build-up in the intake valves has been reported frequently, as is typical for direct-port engines.

Although the N54 engine is reliable, modifying the car will place greater strain on the engine, chassis, and other mechanical parts, so you should be prepared to deal with reliability difficulties.

The Ward’s 10 Best Engines of the Year list included the N54 three times. From 2007 through 2011, it also took home eight awards from the UK’s International Engine of the Year Awards, including the best overall engine.

A Synopsis Of The BMW N54’s Past

The BMW N54 was the first mass-produced twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol engine, as we briefly discussed above. It was released between 2006 and 2016, and many secondhand cars still have it now.

The renowned 335i served as the BMW N54’s launch vehicle at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show. It made a strong market entry, generating a lot of hype and, inevitably, some criticism. Later on, we’ll discuss both sections in further detail. Let’s just note the N54’s five International Engine of the Year accolades for the time being. In addition, it appeared three times in a row on Ward’s list of the 10 Best Engines.

BMW N54: Utilizing

The N54 was initially introduced by BMW in the E9x platform, but it quickly became available across the whole BMW lineup. The 135i, 1-series M-Coupe, 335i and 335is, 535i, X6, Z6, 740i, and Z4 sDrive35is all offer the N54 in a variety of configurations.

  • 2007 – 2010 135i (N54B30) (N54B30)
  • 2007 – 2010 335i (N54B30) (N54B30)
  • 2007 – 2010 535i (N54B30) (N54B30)
  • X6 xDrive35i from 2008 to 2010 (N54B30)
  • Z4 sDrive35i from 2009 until 2016. (N54B30)
  • 2008 – 2012 740i (N54B30) (N54B30)
  • 2010 – 2013 335is (N54B30) (N54B30)
  • 2011–2012 M-Coupe 1-series (N54B30TO)
  • Z4 sDrive35is from 2011 to 2016. (N54B30TO)

Engines Exposed: BMW’s Iconic Tuner Engine Was the N54

Turbochargers are a fairly common feature in cars today. They are available on virtually every type of engine arrangement. The most effective approach to produce electricity may have been discovered a long time ago, and BMW was at the forefront of this progress. BMW introduced the 2002 Turbo, the country’s first production turbocharged vehicle, in 1973. It also essentially established what a “sports sedan” is in the modern sense.

With Brazilian Nelson Piquet at the wheel, BMW became the first turbocharged engine manufacturer to win the Formula 1 world championship in 1983, continuing its ascent to glory. For qualifying sessions that year, BMW was able to extract more than 1,000 horsepower from its 1.5-liter inline-four. When BMW released the N54 in 2006, it once more left its mark on the history of turbocharging. The N54, a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six with 300 horsepower and over 300 lb-ft of torque, made its debut in the 2007 model year 335i. The torque is steady at 295 lb-ft from 1300 rpm to 5000 rpm while the 300 horsepower peaks at 5800 rpm.

This is made feasible in part by the VANOS system from BMW. Variable camshaft control, or VANOS, enables the camshafts to turn in response to engine speed.

The camshafts will move to open the valves later at low speeds in order to optimize idling and smooth out the engine. The N54 also employs direct injection, in which highly pressurized gasoline is delivered right to the combustion chamber of the cylinder. The N54’s intercooler is built to cool the turbocharged air by up to 80 degrees Celsius, which significantly contributes to the engine’s power. Now that it has two turbochargers, their primary function is to reduce “turbo lag,” which occurs when one turbo produces pressure while the other is idle at low engine speeds. A good tune will extract some good power gains out of the engine because the computer controls so much of it.

However, N54 owners are reporting power improvements of up to 707 horsepower at the wheels, without modifying the internals, with a few bolt-ons and a twin-scroll turbocharger. This is so because the N54’s internals were forged at the factory. Although the exact distinction between forged and cast components is debatable, it is generally agreed that the crankshaft and rods were forged while the pistons were cast. Nevertheless, that impressive power increase from 300 to more than 700 whp was achieved without modifying the internals. Until BMW produced what is thought to be a more cost-effective engine, the N55, the N54 was used in the 335i. In the 335i from 2006 to 2010, the 135i from 2008 to 2013, and the 740i from 2008 to 2012, the N54 was employed.

The Z4 sDrive35is featured a stronger N54 variant. Although it produces the same amount of power as the stock N54, if not more, depending on the year, the N55 is perceived by some as a step down from the N54. Given that it only has one turbo and cast internals, its tuning skills could be a weak point. The N54 might succeed the 2JZ. The N54 has the potential to go down in history like the Toyota engine and Nissan’s RB26DETT, especially among tuners. The fact that all three engines are inline sixes cannot be a coincidence.

What N54-powered BMWs are there?

The N54 engine eventually served many BMW models throughout its ten-year lifespan, beginning with the E9X series and ending with the 2016 BMW E89 Z4.

The complete list of BMW and Alpina models using the N54 engine is provided below:

  • BMW E90/E91/E92/E93 335i, 2006–2010
  • BMW E60/E61 535i, 2007–2010
  • BMW E82/E88 135i, 2007–2010
  • 2010-present Alpina B3
  • BMW E71 X6 xDrive35i, 2008–2010
  • 2008-2012 BMW F01 740i
  • BMW E89 Z4 sDrive35i, 2009–2016
  • BMW E92/E93 335is, 2010–2013
  • Alpina B3 S, 2010–2013
  • BMW E82 1-series M-Coupe, 2011–2012
  • BMW E89 Z4 sDrive35is, 2011–2016
  • Alpina B3 GT3 2012–2013