|BMW N54 engine|
|Fuel system||Direct injection|
The BMW N54 is a turbocharged straight-6 petrol engine that was produced from 2006 to 2016. It is BMW's first mass-produced turbocharged petrol engine, and BMW's first turbocharged petrol engine since the limited-production M106 was discontinued in 1986. The N54 debuted at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show and was launched in late 2006 in the E92 335i.
The N54 was produced alongside the naturally aspirated N53 engine, and both engines feature direct injection, variable valve timing on both camshafts (called dual VANOS by BMW), an open-deck engine block, and an electric water pump. However, the N54 is based on the older M54 naturally aspirated engine. and therefore uses an aluminium engine block (instead of the magnesium alloy used by the N53) and has a capacity of 2,979 cc (182 cu in) and does not have variable valve lift (called valvetronic by BMW).
Turbocharging is a key difference between the N54 and BMW's previous straight-six engines. The N54 has two small low-pressure turbochargers to minimise turbo lag. The boost pressure is 8.8 psi and an air-to-air intercooler is used. Compared with the naturally aspirated N52 engine (which the N54 replaced in some North American models), the N54 produces an additional 45 hp (34 kW) and 80 lb⋅ft (108 N⋅m). Car & Driver noted the N54 had minimal turbo lag and "in feel and sound the twin-turbo could pass for naturally aspirated". The N54-engined F01 740i was also praised for its linear power delivery.
BMW's term for turbocharging is "TwinPower Turbo", which has also been applied to the N55, which uses a single twin-scroll turbocharger (as well as Valvetronic variable valve lift). Initial versions of the N55 produced the same peak power and torque as the N54, although the N55 produced peak torque 200 rpm earlier. Initially, the high-output versions of the N54 (such as used in the 2009 F01 740i) were more powerful than the N55. However, from 2016 onwards, more powerful versions of the N55 became available.
The engine's direct injection system uses piezo injectors, as per the naturally-aspirated N53. The N55 engine uses solenoid-type injectors, because the piezo injectors are more expensive and not reaching their full potential to obtain the "lean burn" benefit. BMW's trademark for direct injection, regardless of type, is known as "High Precision Injection".
Effects on vehicle handling
Comparing the N54-engined E60 535i with the 550i (using a 4.8 litre naturally aspirated V8 engine), Car and Driver noted "As torquey as the 550i is, though, it is only marginally quicker than the 535i, and as the road bent deeper into the mountains, we noticed the additional weight in the nose more and more". Similarly, the handling of the N54-engined F01 740i was described by Edmunds as "tossable", compared to the twin-turbo V12-engined 760Li model, although the 760Li was faster in a straight line.
As per the 3.0 litre version of the naturally aspirated BMW M54, all models have a bore of 84 mm (3.3 in), a stroke of 89.6 mm (3.5 in), a capacity of 2,979 cc (181.8 cu in) and a compression ratio of 10.2:1.
|N54B30||225 kW (306 PS)
|400 N⋅m (300 lb⋅ft)
|240 kW (330 PS)
|450 N⋅m (330 lb⋅ft)
|250 kW (340 PS)
|450 N⋅m (330 lb⋅ft)
225 kW version
The initial version of the N54 is officially rated at 200 kW (270 hp) and 400 N·m. However, these figures are considered to be under-rated, and independent testing has resulted in estimates of 311 hp (232 kW) and 311 lb·ft/422 N·m.
- 2006–2010 E90/E91/E92/E93 335i
- 2007–2010 E60/E61 535i
- 2007–2010 E82/E88 135i
- 2008–2010 E71 X6 xDrive35i
- 2009–2016 E89 Z4 sDrive35i
240 kW version
250 kW version
The most powerful version of the N54 is found in the E82 1 Series M Coupe and the E89 Z4 sDrive 35is.
High-Pressure Fuel Pump failures
In the United States, many N54 engines experienced failures of the High Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP), resulting a class action lawsuit, a voluntary recall and an extended warranty for the HPFP.
Failure of the HPFP can cause the engine to suddenly stop functioning, which has caused several near-misses on highways. BMW was aware of HPFP problems, describing them in internal Technical Service Bulletins as "driveability problems".
In April 2009, a class action suit was filed against BMW in connection with HPFP failures. BMW settled the suit in June 2010. On 26 October 2010, following an ABC News story about HPFP failures, BMW announced a recall of vehicles with the pump in question from manufacturing years 2007-2010. The recall was applied to 130,000 cars, resulting in the replacement of the HPFP in approximately 40,000 of these cars.
In the United States, the warranty period for the HPFP was increased to 10 years and 120,000 mi (190,000 km).
On some cars, the HPFP was replaced multiple times without resolving the issue, potentially leading to the car being refunded under the Lemon Laws in some states.
Extended warranty in the United States
The High Pressure Fuel Pump issue caused BMW North America to extend the warranty for this pump to 10 years or 120,000 mi (190,000 km).
These warranty extensions only apply to the United States.
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