Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

N54 M Coupe?

Discussion in 'E85/E86 Z4 M roadster/coupe (2006-2008)' started by Abe, Jun 24, 2008.

    Abe guest

    Post Count: 11
    Likes Received:0
    First of all let me say that the M Coupes (E36/8 & E86) have my vote as the most wonderful embodyment of BMW-ness since the 2002tii (driving pleasure category) and 507 (design elegance category). I would have proudly worn the badge "dork" in an M54-powered E36/8 clown shoe! Not to sound like an apologist, but my decision to throw my lot in with the 335i coupe was borne mostly out of a need to put a child seat in the back (!). With memories of driving the E86 through the twisties of Garmisch still fresh in my mind, pulling the trigger on the E92 nearly killed me. (I have since recovered.)

    All that being said, watching much more heavily-engined cars shrink in my rear view mirror as I pull effortlessly away is a special joy that always brings a smile to my face. Is it schadenfreude? Yes, but I don't laugh openly or while they're looking, so I'm okay with it. But imagine...

    What if BMW threw the N54 under the bonnet of the E86? I love the six individual throttle bodies of an M54 as much as the next guy, but the torque plateau (it's hardly a curve) of the twin-turbine, and its nearly absent turbo lag would make an especially potent match mated to the chassis of the lighter E86. Has anyone heard of BMW thinking along the same lines? Does anyone else think this would be fun?

    Long live the Dorks.
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    If you've got major cash, you could do a transplant...



    ... but that really is some major cash. :(

    Abe guest

    Post Count: 11
    Likes Received:0
    I could weld little bolts sticking out from behind the front wheel arches and call it FRANKENBIMMER!

    I know some guys do this with the early cars (E21 transplants for the 2002, etc.), but I've always felt they were somehow violating the car when they did. Sometimes they do the math and figure out the engineering complexities of introducing a more powerful (and usually heavier) power plant to an older chassis, but usually they don't. There's some group throwing LS2 Corvette engines in the Pontiac Solstice, but it strikes me as the sort of thing that comes from a drunken bet (Hey Jed - betcha I can...), and I wonder if they thought about what that would do to the car's balance. I'm guessing if BMW officially made the N54 jump for the E86 they would put the engineering rigor behind the move to make it a true improvement. I would just screw it up, void all sorts of warrantees (and probably some arms limitations treaties), and end up driving Frankenbimmer right to the poor house. If you'd like to back such a venture with investment capital, however...
    • Member

    EuroWerkz1

    Post Count: 160
    Likes Received:1
    Coming soon...

    Abe,
    Be careful what you wish for...Hint Hint !
    :eek:

    Abe guest

    Post Count: 11
    Likes Received:0
    Please, Santa...

    If that's what it takes, I'm prepared to wish as recklessly as possible!

    Happy times in Garmisch, Germany...
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

    Post Count: 2,187
    Likes Received:64
    The N54 twin-turbo. . .

    . . . which now appears in just about every BMW model, including the next-gen 7 Series, is indeed scheduled to appear in the Z4---the next-gen Z4 that will be built in Germany.

    Those of us in two-car households with the appropriate mix of cars---an M roadster and a 335i---get to compare the N54 and the S54 on various interesting occasions. I can tell you that if the roadster had a throttle cable instead of a bunch of #$%! electrons, I'd wax her booty by third gear.

    SC
    :eek:
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
    Likes Received:2
    So in other words, the electronic throttle hinders response time in the S54 and the M Roadster in your hands would beat anything else....
    (?)
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

    Post Count: 2,187
    Likes Received:64
    Cables versus potentiometers

    No---I'm just saying that the 335i's electronics are VERY sophisticated programs compared to the M roadster's. Mash the throttle in the 335i and it's like being in a teleporter: You're instantly beamed about a quarter-mile down the road. The roadster thinks about things for a second. . . then decides whether to give you a little bit of gas or a lot---or whether to just pull the plug to embarrass you. Pushing the Sport button does nothing good---just makes the throttle an on-off switch.

    You can regain some feel for throttle feed by canceling DSC. . . which would be okay if I ever remembered to do that BEFORE I see the tail lights of the 335i. . . .
    :eek:
    SC
    • Member

    EuroWerkz1

    Post Count: 160
    Likes Received:1
    I think what our friend from La Jolla is professing is his disdain for the the electronic throttle especially in the early BMW versions. Amen to that, in the E46 M it is painful in the E36/8 Coupe it is down right horrific. I have a 2002 M coupe in the inventory right this minute as a matter of fact and she is a beauty and a ball to drive in anger but that drive by wire throttle is ridiculous. I may have to download some Dinan software this week in an attempt to smooth it out a bit. The N54, great engine but BMW have yet to put it in anything approaching the balanced performance of an M car. It may be time for that to happen. Anyone that has seriously driven the E92 M and N54/35i anything back to back has no doubt which car is an M car and which is just a good BMW with a very good power addition.
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
    Likes Received:2
    hmmmmm..... MY experience with a 335i and the z4M-R is the following --- (both were MT cars).
    I felt the lag in the 335i. And I cut my teeth properly launching AWD DSMs with boost upgrades and the associated lag, so I know how to minimize it working the powerband.
    And considering the torque comes on down low in the N54, well, I still felt it, even though I wanted to buy in to the writing of "virtually no lag".
    The M has instant throttle response. Not sure if the z4M DME makes that much of a difference but the processes run faster than the M3 (e46) for the S54. (MSS54 Siemens, originally 25 million calculations per second, now MSS70, 64 million per second)
    If you are talking about thrust, they are different between the N54 and S54 obviously. And a different topic to throttle response, obviously. Midrange grunt vs. high rev HP. Different animals, but each definitely an animal to be tamed.
    So.... in my experience, I can't attest to the N54 being such a close rival. I suppose that to the majority of _35i owners out there, they have 1) automatics, 2) are new to BMW, 3) this is their OMG experience (all new) in acceleration. But it did not wow me, I suppose because of my prior experience with big turbo power in a prior owned car.
    I agree about M balance BTW.

    I guess I do recall the early DBW M54 engines having lag, but they corrected it as early as 2002, as I recall. I guess it was still an issue for the early S54 as well. I can only attest to what my circa 2006 S54 does, and its TR & thrust continues to impress. Perhaps I am just 'over' turbos. ;)

    MVF4rider guest

    Post Count: 22
    Likes Received:1
    N54's worth is deceiving. The N54's low redline (5800 vs. 7900) makes the car's terminal velocity much slower (I'm sure most would care less but here in Germany, it's a big smile factor) . The theoretical terminal velocity of a 135i is 159 mph vs. 198 mph for the Z4 M (without drag variations and speedometer error). That's a huge difference.

    Generally speaking, so love the N54 all you want. As a motor only, it's not even close to the tuning and power output/delivery of the S54.

    You have to wonder what auto makers are thinking at times. Even gearing a car to reach 155 mph is suspect considering safety and liability. Gearing a car to 200 mph seems utter nonsense. But I'm glad they do.
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
    Likes Received:2
    well actually, some argue the n54 is conservatively rated for RWHP.
    not to mention the torque is better which matters more for off the line acceleration.

    but BMW always does a great job of making the cars with heft feel light on their toes due to great gearing per model.

    heck, my e39 530i feels quick, and that's with step!

    MVF4rider guest

    Post Count: 22
    Likes Received:1

    Z4 M = 317 whp
    135i = 282 whp

    Personally I find the N54 makes the driver lazy. Bottom end power is its forte and the motor gives little reason to visit the upper rpms. In fact, it feels rather flat on top, which is opposite of an M engine for good reason.
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
    Likes Received:2
    what's your source for the whp ratings?
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    I really agree with this statement. I recently drove the new M3 (at Octoberfest) and I was truly amazed at how light it felt. I was expecting to feel its heft, but it felt quite tossable. Now I had very limited seat time, but was impressed.

    The clutch on the other hand felt awful. Now maybe it was worn, the car was a performance driving school car. It was just too light, I like a clutch that takes a little effort to push in, it was almost like stepping on air.

    GR

    MVF4rider guest

    Post Count: 22
    Likes Received:1
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
    Likes Received:2
    Originally Posted by 290064

    "but BMW has always does a great job of making the cars with heft feel light on their toes due to great gearing per model."


    that is some piss-poor grammar on my part. that's the problem of forum postings (fragmented thoughts), and between meetings at the office, no less; hahahaha

    thanks for the kindness of agreeing with my statement, albeit hard to decipher.
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
    Likes Received:2
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    Hey, I knew you what you meant! :D

    GR
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3

    Looks American to me...


    Nobody can say "this is exactly how much engine horsepower this engine produces" because the numbers from all the different sources vary. Some say 340+, some say 333, some say the 348 that's mentioned... it's all different and have never seen numbers that agree with each other.

Share This Page