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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When the E46 came out, there was the 323 and 328 (later badged appropriately as the 325 and 328). In around 2001 (?) the engine displacement increased to 3L and we had the 330 (and of course the 325 still). Then in 2004 (?) they added the ZHP and now we have Valvetronic.

Where do they go next? Do you think we will see a further increase in displacement to say 3.2 or 3.3L sometime during the E90 model run? What else will they likely do to increase HP over the coming years?

- VR
 

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King of Rear Clunks
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The 323 was never rebadged to a 325. The 'wrong' name wasn't carried over with the engine change, and the 330 actually came 3 months BEFORE the 325 appeared.

Anyhow...

Looking at the N52, it doesn't look like there is a whole lot of room for an overbore, but I'm sure there's room for another 10-15% increase in displacement from a bore/stroke increase. But all indications point to a possibility of forced induction before that (see the other thread about this).
 

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Kaz said:
Looking at the N52,
Every legitimate source I've heard/read has refered to this engine as the N52. But Road & Track (I believe it was) recently refered to it as the R6. Were they smoking crack as usual, or is this the internal, super-cool, 'I'm-such-a-BMW-fanatic' nomenclature?
 

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philippek said:
Every legitimate source I've heard/read has refered to this engine as the N52. But Road & Track (I believe it was) recently refered to it as the R6. Were they smoking crack as usual, or is this the internal, super-cool, 'I'm-such-a-BMW-fanatic' nomenclature?
I don't understand why its called the N52 and not the N54?
 

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philippek said:
Every legitimate source I've heard/read has refered to this engine as the N52. But Road & Track (I believe it was) recently refered to it as the R6. Were they smoking crack as usual, or is this the internal, super-cool, 'I'm-such-a-BMW-fanatic' nomenclature?
'R6' was the designation used early on when referring to the engine. I read that the 'R' means something in German (inline? :dunno: ) but naturally it would get a normal model number. N is for all valvetronics, 5 is for 6cyls (since the M50) and I guess they start with 2 these days (N42, N62).

I thought it would be a N54 or N56 since there are M engines with those numbers, but I guess it makes sense to start over, then thay have room for more numbers (and they can't use odd numbers because those are diesels).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Kaz said:
Looking at the N52, it doesn't look like there is a whole lot of room for an overbore, but I'm sure there's room for another 10-15% increase in displacement from a bore/stroke increase. But all indications point to a possibility of forced induction before that (see the other thread about this).
Two follow-on questions from above...

A) What about using some of the E46 M3 tricks on the E90 engine?

B) Forced induction sounds very "un" BMW... Don't you agree? Have they ever had a forced induction factory production vehicle?

Finally, does anyone think that BMW might ultimately go with a V6 design to allow higher displacement in a more compact design? (i.e. effectively cut 2 or 6 cylinders off their V8 of V12 engine designs?)
 

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2002tii turbo and early 745s had turbo 6s not V8s.
 

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virtualrain said:
Finally, does anyone think that BMW might ultimately go with a V6 design to allow higher displacement in a more compact design? (i.e. effectively cut 2 or 6 cylinders off their V8 of V12 engine designs?)
I don't think so. If you look at the new BMW designs, the hood is long enough, even on the 1 Series, to accomodate a V12. So, the engineers don't need to force themselves for a compact design. Besides, no other engine runs smoother than an inline-6.

Inline-6 is a BMW icon, leaving that would be betrayal.
 

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virtualrain said:
A) What about using some of the E46 M3 tricks on the E90 engine?
The e46 M3 engine is a completely different engine than the N52 so almost nothing is transferable. Most important is that it is a cast iron block hence more rigid (and heavier) and can handle all the stresses of very high RPM operation. Because the N52 is much more advanced than the S54 (M3 engine) there is very little (if anything) worth transfering.
 

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BMW already stated that they are going to join the horsepower "race" whenever they feel like it in one of those magazine interviews, so I would not be surprised to see in three years time a 3.2 Liter R6 putting out some 280hp and 240lbs-ft at 3000 rpm in the new 335i and suddenly the 325i will be a 225hp/220lbs-ft by just flipping some software switch in its 3.0 liter ECU to become the new 330i.

The future BMW turbos rumor is still kind of murky for me, it sounds more like some patchwork for not investing good money in normally aspirated engines than some "close the power gap with the V8 M3 coming up". IMO it's more "close the $25,000 more for a E90 V8 M3 gap" than just a power gap... :thumbup:
 

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Alex Baumann said:
I don't think so. If you look at the new BMW designs, the hood is long enough, even on the 1 Series, to accomodate a V12.
160i? That sounds like fun, if they could offer it with a manual transmission. :)

Not too long ago I read (IIRC in C&D review of 760iL) that BMW looked down on turbochargers as a band-aid to get power out of lesser-grade engines (diesels are a separate story). Of course, this was a slap at the S600, but I wonder if they'd change their stand so quickly.
 

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vm said:
In reality is not a rumor because BMW is already building turbodiesels for the rest of the world and will soon start building gasoline 4 cylinder turbo engines as you can see in the following news: http://www.germancarfans.com/news.cfm/newsid/2041214.006/bmw/1.html
I saw that press release some time ago and as we can see this engine is for the Mini... that's the reason that I am still in the "murky" side of seeing turbos in the 3 Series line up. Personally, unless BMW wants to create a sub M performance line up, I do not see where this turbo will fit in the 3 Series bracket. :)
 

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cwsqbm said:
160i? That sounds like fun, if they could offer it with a manual transmission. :)

Not too long ago I read (IIRC in C&D review of 760iL) that BMW looked down on turbochargers as a band-aid to get power out of lesser-grade engines (diesels are a separate story). Of course, this was a slap at the S600, but I wonder if they'd change their stand so quickly.
Would have to place the engine close to the middle of the car, o/w it will be too nose heavy.

I'm sure BMW can get more power out of the new R6/N52 by manipulating the fuel/ignition maps and increasing intake/exhaust parameters. And they could bore to 3.2 or more with cylinder reinforcement. I think... :dunno:

Any mechanical engineers here to give us some insight?
 

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wheel-man said:
I'm sure BMW can get more power out of the new R6/N52 by manipulating the fuel/ignition maps and increasing intake/exhaust parameters. And they could bore to 3.2 or more with cylinder reinforcement. I think... :dunno:
No. It's about as optimized as a modern engine can possibly get. For example, compare BMW's 250hp engine to Nissan, Honda, and Toyota's mid 250-280 hp engine. BMW is able to achieve 250 hp from a 3.0 liter engine while it takes a 3.5+ displacement from the Japanese manufacturers to achieve 250+. The Valvetronic already optimize intake/exhaust valve parameters TO THE MAX. Any more you'd have rough idle issues and drivability issues. The only way with today's technology to extract more power out of the 3.0 liter engine is to raise the rev limit higher.

There are other exotic materials you can use, for example lighter internal parts...But you end up with a cost effective issue. For an engine that redlines at 7,000RPM, it is actually one of the BEST HP per liter output in the world.
 

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BMW will never make V6 engines. First, as someone already said, I6 engin is an icon of BMW; and second, going V6 would mean following Mercedes.... shudder....

BMW using forced induction sounds unlikely to me.... BMWs are not just about outright power. It's about a balance of power and flexibility. Power of a forced induction engin is fine, but I prefer the quick responce of an NA engin. However, no one can deny the fact that competitor engines are producing higher figures. BMW will have to react. Question is, how will they? My bet would go for a slightly larger displacement 2-3 model year time. If BMW is to stay true to thier BMWness, they would slgihtly inclease the engin size, (3.2 sound about right to me or maybe a bit more to get about 300hp) and keep the high reving NA format of thier engines. What I would like to see is BMW keeping the 100hp/liter idea and get 300hp from a 8000 rpm 3.0 I6....... :)

It seems the E90 325 and 330 both have 3.0 displacement... Perhapse this is a clue as to what they are trying to do? Perhapse in 2-3 model year time, 325 will get dropped completely and there will be a 330 and 335 with the 335 haveing the slightly larger engin? Time will tell... :)
 

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I read the bit about competing in the horsepower 'race' as well, and the most practical way of doing that is through forced induction, especially if they intend on competing in this lame race at all product levels, not just in M cars. Frankly, it's cheaper and easier to get the paper numbers up by adding FI instead of M-type engine work, especially getting near and above 100bhp/l. And now that, especially in the US market, the stigma of poor forced induction of the 80s is finally going away, the european makes are getting all over it to boost HP numbers. Though I find it interesting that the Japanese, who basically put turbos on every car in Japan, is still sticking to the Detroit-like 'no replacement for displacement' philosophy for the US.

The other question is whether BMW will persue putting V8s into the E90, especially in the US where cylinder count counts for a lot as well.
 

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Kaz said:
I read the bit about competing in the horsepower 'race' as well, and the most practical way of doing that is through forced induction, especially if they intend on competing in this lame race at all product levels, not just in M cars. Frankly, it's cheaper and easier to get the paper numbers up by adding FI instead of M-type engine work, especially getting near and above 100bhp/l. And now that, especially in the US market, the stigma of poor forced induction of the 80s is finally going away, the european makes are getting all over it to boost HP numbers. Though I find it interesting that the Japanese, who basically put turbos on every car in Japan, is still sticking to the Detroit-like 'no replacement for displacement' philosophy for the US.

The other question is whether BMW will persue putting V8s into the E90, especially in the US where cylinder count counts for a lot as well.
The m3 will have a 4.0 V8.
 

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I don't know if anyone has mentioned it already but 325i seems like a much bigger improvement in performance than 330i over the previous model. It's almost 1 second faster to 60 than it's predecessor, especially pronounced in step (7.2 versus 8.1). That's a huge difference in performance. E46 330i step does it in 7 seconds. I only wish it wasn't such a bad value compared to 330i.
 

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How far do you guys think this horsepower war nonsense will go?

I mean it's nice to have to a certain extent, but does the average american need 300hp?
Even for 'spirited' driving?

I don't think fuel prices are going down, and this extra HP comes with a price. Will Americans eventually wise up? (silly question, I know...)

Seriously, at what level does it become a moot point?
 
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