If you’re in the market for a BMW with an engine that screams performance, then you might want to consider one with the N55 engine. This powerful and efficient engine was introduced by BMW in 2009 and has been a favorite among car enthusiasts ever since.
The N55 engine is known for its precise handling and impressive horsepower output, making it a popular choice among drivers who love speed and agility on the road. But which BMW models actually come equipped with this engine?
“The answer might surprise you! In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into which BMWs have the N55 engine and what makes this motor so special.”
Whether you are already a fan of the N55 engine or just curious about BMW’s lineup, keep reading to find out which vehicles from this luxury automaker come with this powertrain option under the hood.
What is the N55 Engine in BMW?
The N55 engine is one of BMW’s most advanced and powerful engines. It was first introduced in 2009 and has been used in a variety of models since then, including the 135i, 335i, 535i, X1, X3, X4, X5, X6, and some M performance vehicles.
Overview of the N55 Engine
The N55 engine is a turbocharged straight-six gasoline engine with direct fuel injection technology that produces up to 320 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. It features twin-scroll turbocharging, variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts, and an electronic wastegate control system.
The engine is capable of delivering impressive speeds and acceleration, thanks to its dynamic control systems, which includes an intelligent xDrive all-wheel drive system for enhanced traction and stability even under challenging driving conditions.
History of the N55 Engine
The N55 engine replaced the outgoing N54 engine in 2009. While the two engines share many mechanical components, the N55 benefits from numerous improvements that give it better durability, reliability, and longevity. These include improved cylinder head and piston design, reduced turbo lag, and optimized fuel economy.
Since its introduction, the N55 has become a popular choice among BMW enthusiasts due to its high-performance capabilities and versatility across a range of BMW models.
Technical Specifications of the N55 Engine
- Engine type: Turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine
- Displacement: 3.0 liters
- Horsepower: Up to 320 hp @ 5800 rpm
- Torque: Up to 330 lb-ft @ 1400-5000 rpm
- Bore/stroke ratio: 84 mm x 89.6 mm
- Compression ratio: 10.2:1
- Fuel system: Direct fuel injection with electronic throttle control
- Valvetrain: Double-VANOS variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust camshafts, Valvetronic variable intake lift, electronically controlled wastegate
“BMW’s N55 engine is one of the most advanced powertrains in the industry, offering impressive levels of performance, efficiency, and reliability across a range of BMW models.” – Car, Driver
The N55 engine features an advanced cooling system that includes two side-mounted air-to-air intercoolers, which help reduce turbo lag and improve overall performance. It also has an oil cooler to ensure that temperatures stay within the optimal range for reliable and efficient operation.
The N55 engine is a testament to BMW’s commitment to innovation and engineering excellence, delivering a powerful, efficient, and refined driving experience for BMW owners around the world.
What Makes the N55 Engine Different from Other BMW Engines?
The BMW N55 engine came as a replacement for its predecessor, the N54 twin-turbocharged engine. Its release served to change the game and further cemented BMW’s place in the automotive industry. What makes this engine unique? Let’s find out.
Improved Turbocharging System
Built differently from the N54 engine, the N55 boasts of an improved turbocharging system that provides maximum performance. The single-turbocharged engine uses the Bosch MEVD17 fuel injection system which is better than the piezo injectors used on previous engines.
This new design replaced the bi-turbo setup found on the N54, reducing its complexity while still delivering the same or even more power.
“The new single-scroll turbocharger packing has enabled BMW to come up with a simpler therewith less piping and intercooler arrangements attached. As a result, the company advertises response improvement by about 30 percent.” -Top Speed
An additional benefit of having a single turbo is faster spool-up times, meaning you get boosted torque at lower RPMs giving a more “turbo-boosty” feel during acceleration.
Upgraded Valvetronic System
Another distinguishing feature of the N55 engine is the upgraded valvetronic system which improves efficiency. This technology manages air intake through electronic throttling rather than using traditional throttles which need oil lubrication for their moving parts. Consequently, there is reduced wear causing lower maintenance costs over time.
The intricate design monitors each cylinder’s combustion process using sensors that collect data via digital circuits tied into central processors. It allows for precise regulation of valve open/close timing, thus optimizing airflow requirements relative to available power, which helps reduce emissions as well.
“The N55 engine features BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve lift control (VVT), a system that varies the degree of valve opening according to throttle position. Valve control is provided by a combination hydraulic electro-mechanical system unique to BMW engines.” -How Stuff Works
Enhanced Fuel Efficiency
The engine was designed with fuel efficiency in mind, making it stand out from other BMW engines. A turbocharged engine requires more air and fuel than naturally aspirated systems because the turbochargers compress air exponentially before pushing it into the engine cylinders. However, with the N55 engine, efficiency-boosting measures like an Auto Start-Stop function, direct injection, and high-pressure fuel pumps bring substantial savings.
BMW has implemented its Drive Performance Control technology, which can be adjusted via four driving modes namely Comfort, Sport, Eco Pro, and Sport mode for optimized handling. Each mode optimizes individual components of your car to provide maximum performance under specific circumstances. For instance, the Eco setting provides optimal torque delivery at low RPMs to conserve gas while also minimizing CO2 emissions on an automatic transmission.
“Superior fuel economy over preceding BMW six-cylinder straight engines is nothing short of breathtaking considering the fact that most of these improvements have come due to advanced mechanical design” -Car and Driver
The N55 engine introduced a new era of sophisticated engineering aimed at achieving superior performance across varied parameters. This new design offered better reliability, excellent power output, improved fuel efficiency, and reduced maintenance costs. Without doubt, this BMW N-engine stands out as one of the best mainstream internal combustion engines available in the market today.
What BMW Models Come with the N55 Engine?
BMW 1 Series
The BMW 1 series, also known as F20/F21 models, feature the powerful N55 engine. This engine offers an impressive output of 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft torque. The N55 engine in the BMW 1 series combines a range of high-performance technologies to deliver a driving experience that is both exciting and reliable.
Furthermore, the 1 series features advanced safety technology and sleek design elements, which make it one of BMW’s most popular models. Drivers who prioritize agility and performance over space and size will find this car perfect for them.
BMW 2 Series
The BMW 2 series comes with two different versions of the N55 engine: a 6-cylinder powerplant and a smaller 4-cylinder option. These engines offer top-of-the-line performance capabilities with significantly enhanced fuel efficiency—thanks to BMW’s efficient dynamics package.
The more potent version of the N55 engine available in the BMW 2 series produces up to 365 horsepower and 369 lb-ft torque, making the car capable of reaching highway speeds faster than many other vehicles on the road.
BMW 3 Series
The iconic BMW 3 series sedan has been around since the late ’70s and has always set the benchmark for luxury sports cars. It’s no wonder the latest generation (F30) of this model comes equipped with the world-renowned N55 engine.
This engine delivers plenty of power while still being able to balance refinement with sportiness. The BMW 3 series’ new twin-scroll turbocharger makes it possible to achieve maximum acceleration from low RPMs.
Besides its superb engine, the 3 series is loaded with high-tech features that provide an excellent driving experience, such as its iDrive generation and optional digital instrument display.
BMW 4 Series
The BMW 4 series is a sleek and stylish car built to impress even the most discerning drivers. It comes equipped with the N55 engine and delivers up to 320 horsepower and 330 lb-ft torque, making it a powerful performer on highways.
It also packs plenty of tech into its compact frame, from adaptive suspension systems to parking assist. The result is agile handling combined with luxury interiors that make this car one of our top picks for a sporty coupé.
“The BMW 4 Series sets the benchmark in terms of driving dynamics and performance.” -Top Gear
The N55 engine has been highly praised by auto experts and enthusiasts alike. Its twin-power turbo design provides noticeably more potent acceleration and response compared to other conventional engines. BMW models equipped with this engine are known for their smooth ride and exceptional fuel economy while still providing a heart-racing driving experience.
- -BMW 1 Series
- -BMW 2 Series (both 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder options)
- -BMW 3 Series
- -BMW 4 Series
If you are looking for a great balance between power and efficiency, then the N55-powered BMW cars should definitely be at the top of your list. These vehicles deliver impeccable performance without compromising safety or comfort, and these qualities have made them some of the most popular luxury sports cars in recent years.
What are the Performance Specs of the N55 Engine?
The BMW N55 engine is a 3.0-liter, inline-six cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers an impressive power output. It can generate up to 300 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and produces great acceleration thanks to its twin-scroll turbocharger. The performance specs of the N55 engine have been tuned for both efficiency and speed, providing an excellent balance between the two.
The N55 engine is equipped with direct injection technology which means that fuel is delivered directly into the combustion chamber under high pressure. This helps to optimize fuel efficiency, reducing emission levels and adhering to strict environmental regulations while still delivering exceptional power output.
“The BMW N55 engine is the most refined six-cylinder engine on the market today.” – Car and Driver
The N55 engine has a peak torque production of 300 lb-ft which comes in as early as 1,200 rpm. This results in instant throttle response which makes it possible to achieve quick starts from a standstill. Torque delivery remains smooth throughout the rev range, making it ideal for highway cruising or spirited driving on winding roads.
In addition to producing such outstanding figures, the N55 engine also features BMW’s Valvetronic system that enhances overall performance. This manages valve timing to improve throttle response and gives drivers more control over their vehicle, enhancing the driving experience even further.
“The N55 is a satisfyingly gutsy, flexible engine that always feels ready to produce its considerable power reserves” – Autocar
The N55 engine proves to be not just powerful but efficient as well, making it an ideal choice for any BMW enthusiast who wants to enjoy superior performance without sacrificing fuel economy.
How to Maintain Your BMW with N55 Engine?
Regular Oil Changes
One of the critical aspects of maintaining your BMW with an N55 engine is timely oil changes. The N55 engine requires synthetic blend or full synthetic oil that meets its specifications from certified brands such as Mobil 1, Valvoline, Royal Purple, etc.
The recommended oil change interval for N55 engines is every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. However, harsh driving conditions may require more frequent oil changes, ideally every six months.
Avoid using low-quality or off-brand oils as they may cause sludge buildup in the engine leading to severe complications which can lead to costly repairs.
Timely Maintenance of Turbocharging and Valvetronic Systems
The N55 engine boasts exceptional turbocharging technology and features advanced valvetronic systems that improve fuel economy and better power delivery. To keep your BMW at peak performance, you must ensure that these critical components are well-maintained through regular checks and cleaning.
The turbocharger works by compressing air entering the engine for increased efficiency and power output, but it’s also prone to wear and tear over time due to the high operating temperatures and pressures. Ensure that you regularly check the wastegate valve and intercooler, clean them accordingly, and replace any worn-out parts as soon as possible.
The valve-tronic system regulates the intake and exhaust valves’ opening and closing times to improve fuel consumption, increase torque output, and reduce emissions. Keep an eye on warning signs such as rough idling and stalling and seek professional help immediately if you notice any issues.
“The best way to extend your BMW’s lifespan is through routine maintenance and early detection of potential problems.” – Victor Schepisi (BMW Service Manager).
Regular maintenance and servicing from a certified BMW technician are also crucial factors that ensure the longevity of your vehicle. Seek professional help as soon as you notice any strange sounds, vibrations, or warning lights on your dashboard to prevent further damage down the line.
Taking good care of your BMW with an N55 engine comes down to adhering to manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals, using quality oils and parts, and being proactive when it comes to detecting potential issues before they get worse.
Frequently Asked Questions
What BMW models have the N55 engine?
The N55 engine is found in various BMW models including the 135i, 235i, 335i, 435i, 535i, X3, X4, and X5. It was also used in some Mini Cooper S models.
What is the horsepower and torque rating of the N55 engine?
The N55 engine has a horsepower rating of 300hp and a torque rating of 300 lb-ft. This engine has a single twin-scroll turbocharger that helps it produce power and torque quickly and efficiently.
What are the differences between the N55 engine and its predecessor, the N54?
The N55 engine has a few differences compared to the N54 engine. The N55 engine has a single twin-scroll turbocharger while the N54 engine has two smaller turbochargers. The N55 engine also has Valvetronic technology, which adjusts the valve lift for improved efficiency and power delivery.
What are some common issues with the N55 engine?
Some common issues with the N55 engine include fuel injector problems, valve cover leaks, and timing chain failures. These issues can be addressed through routine maintenance and repairs.
What modifications can be made to enhance the performance of the N55 engine?
There are various modifications that can be made to enhance the performance of the N55 engine. These include installing a cold air intake, upgrading the exhaust system, and adding a performance tune. These modifications can improve horsepower, torque, and overall engine response.
What type of fuel should be used with the N55 engine?
The N55 engine requires premium fuel with an octane rating of 91 or higher. Using a lower octane fuel can cause engine knock and decrease performance. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for fuel type to ensure proper engine function and longevity.