• Nov 27, 2008

After two decades of normally-aspirated high-revving engines shoehorned under the hoods of its M cars, BMW is changing direction and will begin to offer direct-injection turbocharged powerplants in its future high-performance flagships. The German automaker is blaming tough environmental emission standards and the soaring manufacturing costs of the specialty-built V8 and V10 engines found in today's M3, M5, and M6 models for its decision. We also suspect the fact that both Audi and Mercedes-Benz have successfully offered torque-laden forced-induction powerplants for years on their performance models may have something to do with it (also keep in mind that an aftermarket-tuned version of BMW's own twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 can easily match the power output of the M3's normally-aspirated 4.0-liter V8). The first new M model to carry the turbocharged honor will be the X6 xDrive M, with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 reportedly making 500 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That same engine is reportedly going into the next F10-chassis M5 due in late 2010.

[Source: Autoweek]



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  • 51 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      You know, if money didn't matter, I would definitely rock an X6 M.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @RJ

        You've obviously never driven an X6. They handle much better than an X5, and any other SAV/SUV. Sure, they don't have the space of an X5, but handling in the X6 is ridiculously good.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The X6 is the absolutely most pointless thing BMW has ever made. It has:

        The room of a 3-series
        The handling of an X5
        The speed of a 550i
        The price of an M5
        The looks of Bangle in his prime of stupid designs.

        What's there to like? Why can't people just get a 5-series wagon?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't care what BMW thinks, there's no such thing as an X6 M.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...
        • 6 Years Ago
        akboss:
        There's a big difference between a 1.8T and a 2.7T.

        The 2.7T has a little better fill-in power (like the DI 2.0T has), but both are good in normal driving.

        The big difference is the 2.7T has a lot more pull and power when you drop the pedal. The 2.7T pulls hard (full rated torque at 1850RPM) and where the 1.8T starts to drop off at 4000RPM and redlines at 5500RPM, the 2.7T pulls hard all the way to the 6500RPM redline.

        If you're gonna flog it, the 2.7T is far more rewarding, but if you aren't going to do that often, it might not be worth it, because the 2.7T is a large iron block and thus makes the car heavier and makes the handling less rewarding. You can always put fatter tires on to compensate a bit, but it's still going to feel heavier.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ~ why not the LS2LS7?

        Thanks for the advice!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ugh...I know modern turbos are very good and virtually lag free, but they add needless complexity.I have yet to drive a turbo engine that has the response and linear power delivery of a normally aspirated one. Makes me sad.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What's the S4 2.7TT like to drive? Would be interested to know from someone who has driven both - I can pick up an '01 S4 for $13K, or I could take a drop in power for an '04 VW 1.8T.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My dad drives a saab turbo and mom drives a VW turbo. and I drive a Audi S4 twin turbo. All of our cars are fast and drive great.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm kind of saddened by this. While I have nothing at all against forced-induction engines, I've always had a high regard for the companies who went out of their way to stick with high-revving high-output NA engines: Honda, BMW, and Ferrari (discounting the 288GTO and F40 - that the Porsche 959 made Ferrari do such a thing as put a turbo V8 in its flagship car is quite a testament to how damned good it was).

      Oh well.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agree with LS here. High revs in a street car is pretty pointless. The only reason race engines are designed this way is because of regulations. As a result, they sacrifice driveability at low rpm, fuel economy, and longetivity to capture the checkered flag.

        Why restrict yourself to the same sets of regulations when there are none on the street?

        hp/liter is one of the most pointless measurement. Why don't you measure hp / cam? The LS7 makes 505hp / cam, the E60 M5 makes only 125hp / cam. Which is more efficient?

        Then look at the exterior displacement. LS engines are tiny and light, BMW V8s and V10s are bulky and relatively heavy, while making less power everywhere across the rpm band, save for the very top. Again, which design is better for the street?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The F40 was made that way because that's how F1 engines were made at the time. The F50 was made a NA V12 because that's how F1 engines were made when it was made.

        I do like companies that make power through revs. But the problem is that the motors that actually get the revs high enough to win out over other technologies are few and far between. For every S2000 motor there are 10 motors like the BMW M5 motor that didn't make enough revs to beat out a more efficient OHV LS7. And Ferrari made a pile of them too.

        Apparently the clear advantage of revs only barely starts to take hold with redlines at 8500 and higher now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If everyone is playing the same game, hp / liter tells how good the engine builders are at moving air, the limiting factor of producing power (not moving fuel)

        But since everyone isn't playing the same game, torque/liter if a better metric.

        What counts as 'high revs' today? 4500 rpm in a diesel & 6750 rpm in a gas
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think a TTV8 M5 will be awesome.
      • 6 Years Ago
      so what does this say for the speculated '09 z4m with a v8?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Woohoo! It would be good to see an M3 powered by a straight-six again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll bet there's no limit to the power BMW can muster from these 2 plants.

        Generation-to-generation, all they have to do is improve airflow and cooling.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Screw the inline-6 config. Sure, it's perfectly balanced, but is heavy and long.

        I would like to see a highly stressed 4-cylinder on a lightweight M3, to revive the glory days of the E30 M.

        And to hark back to the awesome BMW 4-cyl turbos in F-1 cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So many comments and no one acknowledges that BMW is following Ford's lead here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ford?

        Audi/VW says hi.

        Perhaps you heard of the Audi Quattro? Perhaps the 2000 twin-turbo 6-cyl S4? And if you want to talk mass-market, VW/Audi have probably sold more 1.8T/2.0T than any other turbocharged gas passenger car engines in the world.

        Hell, the GM EcoTec is far ahead of Ford too.

        All Ford has done is announce their intention to do what other companies have already been doing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Audi or Auto Union used forced induction engines in the 30's.
        Saab had a relative mainstream turbo in the 70's.
        Mercedes and Audi have been using forced induction on all their mainstream cars for 15 years now.
        VW had the whole downsizing thing under control almost 4 years ago with the 1.4 TSI, and Fiat now has it's fair share in that aswell.
        And currently i can't think of any engines that have the kind of powercurve all the new turbo/supercharged engines from Audi have.
        for example:
        1.4 TSI - 125hp @ 5000-6200RPM
        1.8 TFSI - 160hp @ 4500-6000RPM
        2.0 TFSI - 211hp @ 4800-6200RPM
        3.0 TFSI - 290hp @ 4800-7000RPM

        • 6 Years Ago
        Talk is cheap.

        VW/Audi, GM and even BMW already delivered on turbocharging before Ford even started talking about it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's not even mentioning the torque curves and economy levels.
        Or mentioning all the other manufacters that already have a powerfull and economical f/i engine in their models.

        Overhere apart from the turbodiesels Ford still only has the 2.5 Inline 5 as f/i engine, with 225hp and mediocre fuel economy. Great engine no doubt, but far behind what some manufacterers had even 5 years ago.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Everyone has done turbocharged engines one way or another. Ford had a 1980 Fairmont/Zephyr 2.3 4cyll engine. They latter used that engine in the Merkur XR4ti and a few Mustangs including the SVO.

        Audi/VW can claim the fact that they gave the turbocharger its first mainstream and successful use. Now, for high-power mainstream of a turbocharged use Ecoboost is the standard.

        M-series BMW as well as the Porsche 911 Turbo, are hardly mainstream vehicles, so I must admit that I am pulling your collective chain here. But the timing of this BMW announcement coincides with the imminent arrival of the Ecoboost. Hmmmmm
        • 6 Years Ago
        How many turbocharged direct injection engines has ford sold in 2008? Plenty of diesels, and about zero gasoline.

        Mazda sold the 2.3t, but that kinda sucks to drive. No bottom end, no top end, just middle.

        BMW sold plenty of 135, 335, 535 x6-35
        • 6 Years Ago
        How do you figure BMW is following Ford's lead? Ford doesn't mass market any turbocharged gas cars in the U.S. BMW has the 335 and the 4.4 turbo in the X6. Ford talks a good game, but their EcoBoost is the automobile equivalent of vaporware, as is GM's Volt.

        Maybe if Ford and GM put out product instead of press releases, they wouldn't have to beg the taxpayers for a bailout.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think you need to get your facts straight SGV
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just one word, . . . "Ecoboost"

        Which has been announced a while ago,, which specs have been available for over a year and which will be in your local Ford-Lincoln and Mercury dealerships next spring.

        Eco . . . BMW is following Ford's lead as most of the industry will in one way or another.

        Why is it so hard for you kids to acknowlledge when the home team scores one?

        Upssss, . . . . better duck now!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      In the past six months, I've driven a 135i, a 335i, an RS4, several 6.2 liter AMG's, and two M3's- a manual sedan and a DCT coupe..and I drove a 360 Spyder a year ago..

      ..twin turbo sixes feel nice, but it just isn't the same (even at low to mid revs) as having a mid-size, high compression V8 under the hood.

      I dearly love those V8 cars, and I am planning to acquire a V8-powered M3 before they're phased out. To me, the driving experience is well worth the tradeoffs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So if I'm understanding that right, the v8 M3 will only be around for like 2 years?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Better get one while you can.....lol... I'm not too upset that they are switching to turbos, my 335 is quicker than the last gen. M3 any how, lighter engines and hopefully cars would be great to see from the Roundel.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Those morons should have never put a V8 in the M3. I'm glad, for whatever reasons/excuses they come up with, that they're going back to smaller engines.
      • 6 Years Ago
      so when BMW absolutely splatters the GT class with their NA V8, that means nothing for the street.

      Turbos, naah.

      Turbo diesels, yes...
      • 6 Years Ago
      What happened to the 'high output' version of Volvo's 3.0 inline6? Doesn't Volvo need that to as a replacement for the outgoing 4.4 60 degree V8?

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