End of The N54 Twin Turbo is Nearing

2010 Z4 35i Test Car

We have read the tea leaves and have come to the realization that BMW ‘s internationally acclaimed twin turbo inline six is nearing its end of days. The N54 was slow to be received by most enthusiasts as it seemingly changed BMW ‘s recipe for success by passing on natural aspiration for forced induction- something BMW had only really been doing with their diesels up to the engine ‘s launch in 2007.

People initially complained that there would be lag, but there wasn ‘t anything all that noticeable. Then they moaned that turbos were unreliable, that has yet to be an issue on the grand scale. What soon came to light was that this engine over achieved its stated output and was getting great fuel economy to go along with all that power. Sure there have been hiccups, mainly the dreaded high pressure fuel pump (which BMW has issued recalls and extended warranties for). All in all the engine has been an overwhelming success and has the awards to prove it.

The N54 has also shown what the latest developments in engine technology can do for performance and efficiency. It has been key paving the way for BMW to use turbos and other sophisticated systems to get the most performance and miles per gallon out of its engines.

All cars and engines have life cycles and it is obvious to us that the N54 may have seen its last model year in production. It currently remains in only a handful of models, the mainstays being the “IS ” models is BMW ‘s lineup. With our recent announcement of the BMW Performance Power Kit for the N55 (the serial replacement for the N54) we can see the “IS ” cars and others taking on the N55. The 640i will be on US shores in the not so distant future using a tuned N55 and the X6 is destined for a Life Cycle Impulse so it is only a matter of time before BMW says the plug has been pulled on the enthusiasts favorite engine for tuning.

Progress means we need to get more from less and that is what the N55 does, so it really is time to say goodbye to the beloved N54 twin turbo inline six…. Although it will have its final hurrah in one heck of a machine- the 1M Coupe ‘.

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  • Been a while since I have driven a car with the N54, but it is a sterling engine, really.

  • We might argue day and night about BMW design direction and how heavy they are getting and so on. But when it comes to buidling engines, BMW is as on top of the game as it gets.

    I do miss my E92 335i mostly for its engine.

  • BJ

    The X6 has already switched over to the N55.

  • Drill

    I think that the 1M would be a great “farewell” for both the E82 and N54 🙂

  • Mike

    My 530xi did 21 mpg while 535xi does 17.4 on the same commute. So much for efficiency.

  • BzzzBom

    I have owned numerous BMWs over the last 35 years. THe ones I will miss the most are the 2002s, the 1987 325is, and the 335 with the N54 engine.