James Mackintosh 13 years ago

BMW to offer factory upgrade for twin-turbo 3.0L

Remind me later
BMW really shook up the luxury-performance market in 2007 when it debuted it's new twin-turbo inline six cylinder, the N54.  This high-tech powerplant has been the darling of the motoring press (two international engine of the year awards in 2007/2008, as well as on Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2007 and 2008.) and BMW fans alike, and with good reason. The 3.0L I6, which sees duty under the hood of the 135i, 335i, 535i, 740i, and X6 xDrive 35i, is packed with high-tech features and a good wallop of performance.  The direct-gasoline-injection engine, which has an aluminum block with steel cylinder liners (as opposed to the new N52's aluminum-magnesium lightweight block), utilizes two small low-inertia turbochargers to deliver a very smooth 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft (400nM) of torque. 2009 BMW 335i Sedan So equipped, this smooth-as-silk six will rocket an (E92) 335i coupe with a six-speed to 60mph (100km/h) in under five seconds - about the same as the last generation M3, but without all the high-revving peaky behavior the old M3 was famous for. Of course, like any modern turbocharged motor, the aftermarket has already responded with suitable electronic upgrades.  For those not in the know, modern turbo cars (generally speaking) respond extremely well to "electronic tuning," or modification of the car's ECU (engine control unit.)  By changing standard parameters in the factory ECU, such as maximum permitted boost level, timing curves, fuel trim and duty cycles, and knock sensor impedence levels, a man with a computer and a cable can magically make your car a lot faster for some money.


Vishnu Tuning in the US offers upgrades for the N54, such as the PROcede plug and play tuner, which boost power from 306 up to 390bhp simply with software changes.  They also offer bolt-on packages and custom tunes up to 420bhp with simple intake and exhaust upgrades - and stock internals. BMW, not wanting to miss out on this trend of hotrod 335i's (and 135i's), will be releasing an officially-warrantied upgrade for owners of 135i's and 335i's.  The kit is based on the upgrades given to the F01 (new generation) 740i, which has a revised N54 and more power.  The only information so far is that there will be software changes and cooling upgrades -whether this means a larger radiator or a larger intercooler is unknown, as it wasn't mentioned. This kit provides mild gains - US-spec 335i's should expect power to jump from 300 to 321bhp, and torque to jump from 295lb-ft (400nM) to 336lb-ft (450nM.)  While this is much milder than aftermarket upgrades, the benefit of having it covered by warranty and the assumption that it will be easier on the engine than other upgrades should not be overlooked.  335i's aren't cheap; no one wants to void the warranty on their complicated $50,000 BMW, do they? Still, a 335i (or 135i!) with this package should be a stormer.  BMW says it will cut 0.2s off the 0-60 sprint, so figure somewhere in the 4.5 second range.  And considering this is a simple upgrade on a non-M BMW, that's simply insane.