The BMW N54 vs. N55 vs. B58 vs. S55: Performance & Reliability

The BMW N54 vs. N55 vs. B58 vs. S55: Performance & Reliability

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The BMW N54 vs. N55 vs. B58 vs. S55: Performance & Reliability. Ever since the twin turbo N54 hit the markets in the 2007 BMW 335i, BMW has actually been building on the design of the turbocharged, direct injected inline 6 engine. In 2010, the 335i got the updated N55 engine followed by the B58 in 2016, however, the model was rebranded to the 340i.

Unsurprisingly, the success of the turbocharged inline 6 caused its intro in the F80 BMW M3 beginning with design year 2015. These BMW turbo 6s are nothing to snarl at; all are able to produce massive power numbers with a tune and basic bolt-ons. Further, they have big power and torque bands together with very little turbo lag, which produces immediate low-end torque. How do the BMW N54, N55, s55, and b58 compare to each other?

The BMW N54 vs. N55 vs. B58 vs. S55: Performance & Reliability

BMW N54

Given that the preliminary release of the BMW N54, the engine has actually gotten rather a positive credibility in the tuning neighborhood. Although not the greatest engine on paper, the N54 shattered the expectations of the majority of as it continued to eat up everything tossed at it and apparently beg for more. As an increasing variety of N54 owners started pushing power into the 700+ territory the upper limits of the unopened engine became clearer. More important than the upper-limits, the N54 was most excellent due to its capability to produce huge power without requiring considerable supporting mods, such as updated fueling.

BMW N54 Specs

  • Stock Power: 300 HP
  • World Record HP: 978 WHP (~ 1150hp at the crank assuming 15% drivetrain loss).
  • Displacement: 2979cc (2.979 L).
  • Turbocharger: Twin turbo.
  • Compression: 10.2 to 1.
  • Bore x Stroke: 84.0 mm (3.31″) x 89.6 mm (3.53″).
  • Internals: Forged crank and rods. Cast pistons.
  • Block Design: Open-deck.
  • Redline: 7000.
  • Injectors: Piezo direct injection.

BMW priced estimate the N54 at 300hp, nevertheless, independent testing recommended numbers at the crank closer to 330hp. Maxing the stock turbos with upgraded turbo inlets will result in power numbers in the 450-500whp variety, and torque above 500 ft-lbs to the wheels. The stock internals can dealing with numbers in the 650-750whp variety; at these power levels it becomes exceptionally crucial to have an outstanding tune, and correct fueling (preferably 100% E85). Open-deck blocks and cast pistons are not excellent at managing severe increase pressures for long periods of time. For this reason, it is important to be mindful of power and boost targets in the lower range. The pistons are travelling slower at lower RPM’s, which results in the high increase pressure being in the cylinder for a longer period of time.

A created crank and rods from the factory mean the N54 internals are built to handle some serious abuse; the pistons are cast, however extremely premium cast pistons that can manage severe power and abuse too. Constructed N54 motors often feature created pistons, stronger created rods, conversion to a closed-deck block, and perhaps decreased compression. At the time of writing the N54 horse power record on a constructed motor is 978WHP, or nearly 1150hp at the crank with 15% drivetrain loss. Typically, these high horsepower N54s utilize a monstrous single turbo, nevertheless, some twin turbo offerings can 700+ whp.

BMW N54 Reliability.

There is not much to conceal here; a fast search of the N54 will occupy lots of outcomes with issues over reliability. As this was BMW’s first attempt at a gasoline direct injected, turbocharged, inline-6 engine there were some early problems that required to be straightened out. The N54 was afflicted with early problems consisting of the HPFP, turbo waste-gate rattle, and leaking/faulty fuel injectors. A number of these concerns were solved or reduced through recalls and extended warranties. The N54 still has frequent water pump failures, valve cover/gasket oil leakages, oil filter housing leaks, amongst several other common concerns.

With the substantial list of common problems, it is fair to state the BMW N54 is not inexpensive to own or keep. We do think it is much better than some recommend, however, if you take the car to the look for every minor problem and do not DIY a repair jobs the bills can definitely add up rapidly. Jake and I have both had exceptional experiences with reliability on our N54 powered 135i and 335i, respectively. Our N54 535i (kept much better than my 335i) has experienced countless issues. Some of it boils down to how well you preserve your N54, while some boils down to luck of the draw. Nonetheless, you need to pay to play and the N54 is no exception.

Total Thoughts on the BMW N54.

Reliability Rank: 4.
Tuneability Rank: 1.
Value Rank: 1.
** Ranks are as compared in between the four turbo, inline 6 engines **.

1 = Best.
4 = Worst.

As compared to the other BMW turbo inline 6 engines the N54 earns the worst rating for reliability. BMW learned its lesson on the N54 and focused on improving the reliability of its future turbo engines. The N54 is largely responsible for boosting BMW’s credibility in the tuning community and has actually been out longer than the engines in contrast. Currently, it is the most tuneable engine, in our viewpoint, as it has the largest aftermarket offerings. Due to its age, the N54 is usually more affordable to buy and provides the best worth when comparing the cost to buy, and the capability to tune the engine. However, the preliminary value in buying the N54 might decrease due to prospective reliability concerns.

BMW N55.

The BMW N55 followed the N54 with its preliminary release in the 335i start in 2010. Still an extremely capable engine with fundamental mods, the N55 took a small step back in performance to improve overall reliability. Significantly, the engine stepped down from the true twin turbo design, found in the N54, to a “twin power” single turbo. The single turbo in the N55 is a bigger turbocharger which produces the very same power as the N54, stock for stock. Mod for mod it ends up being apparent the twin turbo design in the N54 is more capable. Beyond the distinction in turbochargers the N55 and N54 share many similar characteristics.

BMW N55 Specs.

  • Stock Power: 300 HP.
  • World Record HP: Estimated 750WHP (we haven’t seen any dyno’s, please send us some if you have any!).
  • Displacement: 2979cc (2.979 L).
  • Turbocharger: “TwinPower” Single Turbo.
  • Compression: 10.2 to 1.
  • Bore x Stroke: 84.0 mm (3.31″) x 89.6 mm (3.53″).
  • Internals: Cast internals.
  • Block Design: Open-deck.
  • Redline: 7000.
  • Injectors: Bosch solenoid style direct injectors.

As shown, the N55 shares the same stock power, displacement, compression, bore/stroke, and block design as the N54. The absence of the extra turbocharger minimizes the stock turbo capabilities of the 335i. Even more, compared to the N54’s forged internals, the N55 features slightly weaker internal parts, though the cast parts are still high quality and only become a concern well above 500whp. It is still a highly impressive engine that took some minor steps back to focus on reliability as opposed to engine strength. After all, the stock engine is rated at 300hp and BMW is not always developing the engine with the concept of more than doubling the power.

BMW N55 Reliability.

If BMW understood the N54 would be capable of dealing with as much power as it was eventually pressed to by the tuning neighborhood, we are not sure. One thing BMW understood for sure, though, is the N55 needed to offer better reliability. The high-pressure fuel pump concerns that pestered the N54 was still a problem on early N55 models, nevertheless, the concern was solved quickly after the release of the engine. Injectors were changed from the piezo style to solenoid design as the piezo had too many concerns on the N54, were too expensive, and did not measure up to expectations. The new injectors found on the N55 are not nearly as bothersome as the piezo injectors. Concerns with waste-gate rattle were mostly fixed on the N55.

Regardless of the improvements, the N55 is still vulnerable to other concerns shown the N54. These include common problems with the water pump, valve cover and gasket, and the oil filter real estate and gasket. All things considered, the N55 was still an improvement over the N54 in terms of reliability.

Total Ideas on the BMW N55.

Reliability Rank: 3.
Tuneability Rank: 3.
Worth Rank: 2.

The N55 does not earn the highest remarks for reliability, it is not to recommend the N55 is a terribly unreliable car. It is more of a testament to simply how good the two remaining engines are. BMW’s B58 and S55 engines are newer, so more concerns might appear down the road. Compared to the two previous engines the N55 has actually been on the road longer, enabling extra time for tuning developments. There are more tuning alternatives readily available, however, the N55 single turbo design restricts it tuneability as compared to the twin turbo S55. Worth is available in simply behind the N54, as the N55 provides an outstanding balance of reliability, price to acquire, and overall tuning options.

BMW B58.

As the newest engine on the list, the BMW B58 had a huge track record to live up to. The N54 is a legend in the tuning world, the N55 developed off that and enhanced reliability, and the S55 is a force to be considered in tuning, power, and reliability. Did BMW live up to that credibility? Well, for beginners, the newest Toyota Supra uses BMW’s B58 engine, and Lexus is considering using it in their IS models. Toyota is well known for its masterpiece in the old Supras– the famous 2jz. It states a lot that Toyota decided to utilize the B58 in a model that made them understood for constructing a beautiful engine in the 2jz. Following BMW’s trend, the B58 is likewise undervalued from the factory with real world tests resulting in roughly 330 horsepower to the wheels.

BMW B58 Specs.

  • Stock Power: ~ 330hp.
  • World Record HP: 655WHP.
  • Displacement: 2998cc (2.998 L).
  • Turbocharger: Single “Twin Power” Turbo.
  • Compression: 11.0 to 1.
  • Bore x Stroke: 82.0 mm x 94.6 mm (3.23 in x 3.72 in).
  • Internals: Forged crank and rods. Cast pistons.
  • Block Design: Closed Deck.
  • Redline: 7000.

The B58 is part of BMW’s most recent objective in the B series engine family; lowering cost by using the very same bore, stroke, block, rods, pistons, and so on as the other B series engines. As such, the engine was updated and is quite various from the previous 3 engines talked about. Displacement sees a little bump to 2998cc, while the compression ratio increases together with a smaller sized bore and longer stroke. A closed-deck block is a considerable upgrade from the open-deck designs on the N54 and N55. Furthermore, it gets the created crank and rods as with the N54. The pistons are cast, but stay strong, and the B58 gets “Electric Arc Wire Spraying” on the cylinder walls.

Although the block and internals are more powerful than the N54 and N55, the boost in compression is odd. Normally, improved engines are much better suited for lower compression, as a longer stroke subjects the internals to boosted pressures for longer periods. The engine still has not seen substantial tuning and aftermarket advancement, so it is tough to put a number on the upper limits of the engine. On paper, the B58 needs to match, if not surpass, the N54 for strength and resilience. The single turbo will likely limit its abilities without updated turbo( s). A tune and bolt-ons will take the B58 into the 400whp+ range; outstanding for a 3.0 L engine, but nothing insane compared to BMW’s other inline-6 turbo engines.

BMW B58 Reliability.

Like the S55 engine, the B58 is a new engine with few models outside of their standard guarantee however is showing early indications of being an extremely reputable engine. There do not appear to be any common problems yet, however, that may undergo alter as the engine ages and more come off their factory warranty. I suspect the oil filter real estate and valve cover concerns may increase as the engine ages. Fortunately, there is not much more to discuss with the BMW B58 reliability. Often it boils down to the luck of the draw and how well the engine is kept, however overall, anticipate the B58 to be a reliable engine.

General Ideas on the BMW B58.
Reliability Rank: 1.
Tuneability Rank: 4.
Value Rank: 4.

To cut ideal to the chase, I enjoy the instructions the BMW B58 is going. Though some will shame the cost cutting by establishing engines with the same specs I think it is a terrific idea. It provides a chance to enhance one single design, as opposed to completely re-designing engines. With that being stated, I would not buy a BMW B58 at this moment.

BMW S55.

Obviously, the success of the N54 and N55 engines implied BMW’s legendary M department needed to take a shot at building something even much better. Get In the BMW S55 – constructed off the standard design of the N55 engine the S55 was developed to take performance to an entire brand-new level. An enhanced engine block, internals, and the addition of a 2nd turbocharger make the S55 a performance engine to drool over. Stock power is available in substantially underrated at 424hp, while independent screening reveals comparable numbers to the wheels. In our opinion, BMW nailed the design and specs on the S55 and is genuinely the most capable engine in this comparison, by a long shot.

BMW S55 Specs.

  • Stock Power: 424 HP.
  • World Record HP: 1150WHP (~ 1350 crank horsepower!!).
  • Displacement: 2979cc (2.979 L).
  • Turbocharger: Twin turbo.
  • Compression: 10.2 to 1.
  • Bore x Stroke: 84.0 mm (3.31″) x 89.6 mm (3.53″).
  • Internals: Forged crank and rods. Pistons are not forged, nevertheless they’re quite strong.
  • Block Design: Closed Deck.
  • Redline: 7500.
  • Injectors: Bosch solenoid design direct injectors.

As the S55 was built on the design of the N55 (which was built on the design of the N54) the BMW S55 shares lots of similarities. Nevertheless, significantly the redline sees an increase from 7000 in its predecessors to 7500 on the M division S55. Created for usage in the legendary BMW M3 the engine takes from the N54 with its true twin turbocharged established. Naturally, the N54 is somewhat of a legend in the tuning neighborhood, but it still fades in comparison to the S55. Almost every part of the S55 is bigger, better, and more powerful than on the N54. The internals are comparable, nevertheless, the S55 benefits from advanced products sprayed on the cylinder walls and pistons. Additionally, though it shares the created crank and rods with the N54, everything on the S55 is stronger and beefier.

A simple JB4 piggyback tune and a small E85 mix push this monster to almost 530whp and 560wtq. In a world where high horse power cars are increasingly more common these are still absolutely crazy numbers. Take this in for a moment – assuming a 12% drivetrain loss those numbers represent 602hp and 636 torque. A lot of outstanding is not the power alone, but likewise the fact all of the stock elements can manage this with a fundamental tune. With a constructed motor, the S55 has actually been pushed to 1150WHP, and undoubtedly we will see more outstanding numbers as the engine sees further tuning and aftermarket development.

BMW S55 Reliability.

If there might be common concerns that pop up down the road, with the first S55 engines being launched in the M3 in mid-2014 it is hard to say. Nevertheless, throughout its first 5 years it seems as if the S55 is a highly trustworthy engine. One problem that might be discovered are problems with the stock crank hub. There have been a couple of cases of concerns with the crank center, nevertheless it was blown out of proportion due to a business developing an item that was claimed to resolve the concern. In reality, it was worse than the factory part. The crank center on the S55 resembles the one on the N54, which has actually not known to be a common issue at all. Nevertheless, there are solid crank hub upgrades that need to be considered when pressing the limits.

The main coolant pump on the S55 is belt driven, which ought to show to hold up much better than the electric water pump found in the N54 and N55 engines. As valve cover and oil filter housing leakages are common on a lot of BMW’s I would not be shocked to see these problems popping up as the engine continues to age. BMW’s S55 engine is without any major “common” concerns even when customized, so this engine makes high remarks for reliability.

Total Ideas on the S55 Engine.
Reliability Rank: 2.
Tuneability Rank: 2.
Value Rank: 3.

This engine reveals huge potential not only on paper, however likewise in real life outcomes. The BMW S55 is an excellent engine from top to bottom and will continue to shine in the tuning world. A few easy mods take this engine into the 600hp and torque variety; absolutely nothing to be embarrassed of for a little 3.0 L inline-6. Tuneability ranks number 2, mostly because it is a more recent engine with few off guarantee. This indicates tuning and aftermarket advancement has actually not reached its full potential; in spite of this fact, the BMW S55 is currently making crazy power and has eliminated records held by the N54.

All of the power also comes coupled with reliability, which just ranks listed below the B58 due to the nature of the S55 being a higher performance engine that will generally cost more to keep. Worth comes in at 3, however, there is a strong argument it need to be higher. It is tough to find a tidy M3/M4 for less than $45,000 today so the performance comes at a steep expense up-front. The BMW M3 has traditionally held its value well and will likely continue the trend.

Related: BMW N54 vs. N55 Performance, Reliability, and Tunability

In the years to come, the B58 will be an excellent performance worth, but it is too vice versa today. An S55 powered M3 can be discovered for roughly $10,000 more than a B58 car. The B58 is a fantastic engine, however the S55 is much better. Better when you consider you get the complete plan in the M3, and the M3 will hold its value better. For that reason, the B58 ratings the worst worth ranking. In addition, as the latest engine on the list and with its single turbo, the B58 also scores the most affordable ranking for tuneability. Reliability ratings the greatest marks compared to the N55, n54, and s55.

Final Thoughts on the BMW N54, B58, n55, and s55.

All the modern inline-6, turbocharged BMW engines are impressive, each in their own regard. The N54 rapidly ended up being a legend in the tuning world, the N55 developed off it’s design and enhanced reliability, the S55 is a well-rounded gem, and the B58 is highly trusted while offering decent performance. Of course, we are prejudiced towards BMW’s here at BMWtuning.co, but we fell for these modern-day turbo BMW engines for a factor. Compared to the competitors, our company believe BMW is building the best mass production turbo inline-6 engines on the planet right now.

Each engine reacts well to basic tunes and bolt-on modifications, with all the engines producing over 400whp on stock turbo set ups. Not just do they produce considerable power, however the engines also do so without much turbo lag and long power bands. Additionally, BMW built on a great engine design in the BMW N54 and continued to improve reliability of the being successful engines. No matter which of these BMW engines you pick to make your own you can not go wrong, in our minds.

Which of these BMW turbo inline-6 engines is your favorite?

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