Introducing the S55 – The M3/M4’s Secret Weapon

Six-cylinder in-line high-revving, turbocharged engine.

The new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe from BMW M GmbH see a return to a six-in-line engine configuration, as used on the second and third generations of this iconic sports car. The new turbocharged unit, which can develop more than 7,500 rpm, combines the best of both worlds – on the one hand a high-revving design for instant response, linear power delivery over a wide engine speed range and an unmistakable and characterful engine note, and on the other hand BMW TwinPower Turbo technology for maximised torque over a broad rpm range. A further hallmark of this engine is its outstanding efficiency.

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More power, more than 30% increase of torque, more than 25% increase of efficiency.

The new engine sees a slight power upgrade over the previous V8 to approximately 430 hp, while peak torque has been increased by well over 30 per cent to substantially more than 500 Newton metres, and is maintained over a very wide rev band. The new powerplant also boasts excellent fuel consumption, with an improvement of more than 25 per cent over the previous model’s figures, while emissions are already EU6-compliant.

New BMW M3/M4 Engine

BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology.

The BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology comprises two mono-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS seamlessly variable camshaft timing. The variable valve and camshaft timing provide fully variable control of intake valve lift. This allows the engine to deliver its power smoothly and efficiently, resulting in lower fuel consumption and emissions. At the same time, throttle response is even sharper than before..

Optimized responsiveness through impulse charging. Flow-enhanced manifolds. Charge pressure control designed to optimize dynamics. Electric wastegate actuator for high precision.

Optimized responsiveness through impulse charging. Flow-enhanced manifolds. Charge pressure control designed to optimize dynamics. Electric wastegate actuator for high precision.

Optimized crankcase and crankshaft design.

The six-cylinder engine features a closed-deck crankcase design, which increases rigidity and allows cylinder pressures to be increased for maximised power output. And instead of liners, the cylinder bores feature a twin-wire arc-sprayed coating, which results in a significant reduction in engine weight.

Crankcase

Crankcase

The six-cylinder engine features a closed-deck crankcase design, which increases rigidity and allows cylinder pressures to be increased for maximised power output. And instead of liners, the cylinder bores feature a twin-wire arc-sprayed coating, which results in a significant reduction in engine weight.

Crankshaft

Crankshaft

Track-ready cooling system and engine oil supply for outstanding performance.

The exceptional performance of the BMW M3 Sedan and BMW M4 Coupe also demands an exceptionally sophisticated thermal management system for the engine and ancillary units. To ensure optimal operating temperatures both in short everyday trips around town and also when the vehicle is being driven flat out on the track, the M GmbH engineers developed a highly efficient cooling system, comprising a main radiator plus additional radiators for the high- and low-temperature circuits, turbocharger and transmission, while a temperature-stabilising electric water pump ensures that the engine can develop its full performance at all times.

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The engine oil supply system, too, reflects the extensive motor sport experience of BMW M GmbH. The low-weight magnesium oil sump, for example, features a special cover to limit movement of the oil under the effects of strong dynamic lateral acceleration. Under extreme longitudinal acceleration and deceleration, an oil extraction pump and a sophisticated oil return system situated close to the turbocharger likewise help to maintain uninterrupted oil circulation. Oil is therefore supplied continuously to all engine components in all driving situations – whether in everyday motoring or during hard driving on the track.

Source: M-Power.com

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  • Dylan

    I really look forward to Gabe’s review of this engine, with a comparison to what BMW M achieved with the 6 cylinder 3.0 Twin Turbo in the 1M. Can’t wait.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      The thing is- on paper it looks great but in reality there is no way it is going to compare to the outgoing V8. I say that as someone that has over 60k hard miles of the S65. It is by far BMW’s best sounding and motorsport inspired engine BMW has offered.

      This new S55B30 will be more inline with the S52, or the N54 in my mind and it should blow them out of the water. I think we should compare apples to apples I guess. The most interesting part of this engine is all the trouble they went through in the oiling department- something they didn’t bother with on the 1///M engine really. The torque will be welcomed but will require some change in driving style for many and I would bet that there will be many track crashes by newbies initially.

      Part of me was expecting a bit more trickery, though we have known most of this for sometime. Just not much of a difference compared to what Alpina did a year ago with the B3 in the engine department as far as performance goes. Of course this M engine is going to be more robust and should be better on the track long term….

      Once we get behind the wheel it should all become more clear, my biggest concern though is in steering and sound- two things I love about the E90 M3.

      • I agree. I think the F80/F82 is more of a follow-up to the E46 than the E90. And in my mind that’s might be good thing. The E90/E92 will always be an M car that forked out into territory that the brand had never gone before. Small but heavy and with a little V8 that revved like crazy. In 20 years we’re going to look at it as being out in left field – and celebrate it for that fact.

  • David

    This is the car I was expecting, for the most part, and on paper it looks like a winner. I am especially impressed with the reduced mass, the emphasis on track durability and keeping the manual alive and well. Although part of me wishes BMW matched Porsche with high revving NA engines that also get decent fuel economy and have lower emissions, the massive torque from a turbo is fun too.

  • Al

    I had the E46 M3 and now I have a E92 and I dont think E46 was less M3 than E92 if not more, but new line up of BMW M cars are not consider as an M car by my book.