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BMW M88 engine
Bmw m88.jpg
Manufacturer BMW
Production 1978–1989
Combustion chamber
Configuration Straight-6
Displacement 3,453 cc (211 cu in)
Predecessor none
Successor S38

The BMW M88 is a straight-6 DOHC piston engine produced from 1978-1989. It is based on the M49 motorsport engine, which was used in the BMW 3.0CSi.[1]


BMW engineers used a 4-valve head and a single-row timing chain.[2] Kugelfischer fuel injection[3] was used with individual throttle valves[4] and the distinctive six inlet pipes.


Engine Displacement Power Torque Bore Stroke Year Application
M88/1 3,453 cc (211 cu in) 203 kW (272 hp) @ 6500 rpm 330 N·m (243 lb·ft) @ 5000 rpm 93.4 mm (3.7 in) 84 mm (3.3 in) 1978–1981 BMW M1
M88/2 670 kW (898 hp) Group 5 racing cars
M88/3 210 kW (282 hp) @ 6500 rpm 340 N·m (251 lb·ft) @ 4500 rpm 1983–1989 E28 M5, E24 M635CSi
M90 160 kW (215 hp) at 5,200 rpm 304 N·m (224 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm 1978–1982 E12 M535i, E24 635CSi, E23 735i


M88/1 with some parts replaced with Plexiglas for display purposes

The M88/1 was the first iteration of the M88 and was fitted to the BMW M1. It produced 277 hp (207 kW) @ 6500rpm and 239 lb·ft (324 N·m) @ 5500rpm.[5] A dry sump is used.[6]


For Group 5 racing, the M88 engine was turbocharged and became known as the M88/2. This race engine produced up to 900 hp (670 kW).[5]


The M88/1 engine was modified for use in the M635CSi and E28 M5, this engine was known as the M88/3.[7] The Kugelfisher fuel injection was replaced with Bosch Motronic and the engine produced 286 hp (213 kW).[8] It has a compression ratio of 10.5:1.

The M88/3 was also fitted to the South African 745i, due to packaging problems with the turbocharged M102 engine which was used in other markets.[9]


The M90 engine is a lower performance SOHC engine that was based on the M88/1. It utilizes the same block from the M88 and maintains the same bore and stroke, but borrows its head from the BMW M30 engine family. Different years of M90 engines used both Bosch Motronic and Bosch L-Jetronic engine management systems.[3] Typically identified by a white L painted on the block behind the oil filter housing and coolant water passages on the side of the block.

The M90 sold in Europe and most other markets (except North America) used a compression ratio of 9.3:1, did not have a catalytic converter and produced 160 kilowatts (210 hp).


See also[edit]