M Division’s Greatest Production Engines

BMW pride themselves on delivering the “ultimate driving machine” to their customers. A lot of that is owed to the reliable, durable and powerful engines which BMW carefully match to their models.  Listed are what we deem to be some of M Divisions greatest production car engines.

M Division


3,453 cc
277 hp @ 6,500 rpm
300 Nm @ 5,000 rpm

BMW’s first production car engine with four valves per cylinder. Installed in the M1, at the time the brand’s fastest sports car. Endowed the M1 with outstanding performance on the road and on the track. Various competition versions of the M88 developed up to 470 hp in naturally aspirated form and up to 850 hp when turbocharged.



BMW M5 / M635CSi
3,453 cc
286 hp @ 6,500 rpm
340 Nm @ 4,500 rpm

When production of the M1 sports car came to an end, its engine was further developed.
For use in the first M5 saloon and the 635CSi sports coupé. In these models, which were entirely suited to everyday use, the engine was able to demonstrate its exceptional performance & reliability.



BMW 325i Sport (EU)
2,494 cc
169 hp @ 5,800 rpm
225 Nm @ 5,800 rpm

The M20 family of straight-six engines is one of the most popular lines than BMW have ever produced. Renowned for their balance between efficiency and sporting credential, many M20s still live to that acclaim today.  The M20B25 initially produced 174 hp without a catalytic converter. The M20B25 head is known as “885” since the casting number ends in 885. It has a compression ratio of 9.7:1, a redline of 6,500 rpm and uses the Bosch Motronic 1.1 engine management system. In 1987, the engine management was upgraded to Motronic 1.3, the compression ratio was reduced to 9.3:1 and power was reduced to 169 bhp for models without catalytic converters.




BMW M3 Sport Evolution
2,467 cc
238 hp @ 7,000 rpm
240 Nm @ 4,750 rpm

Only 600 special models of the E30 M3 were powered by this compact four cylinder.
Naturally aspiarted, four valves per cylinder. Specific power output of almost 100 hp per litre, it communicated a feeling of genuine track atmosphere to those who drove the car on the road.



BMW M3 Evolution / Z3 M Roadster / Z3 M Coupé
3,201 cc
321 hp @ 7,400 rpm
350 Nm @ 3,250 rpm

This high-revving, naturally aspirated engine with four valves per cylinder provided particular driving pleasure in the M cars it was installed. For the 2001 model year, precision work on the valvetrain optimised the engine further and allowed the Z3 M to sprint 0-62 mph in only 5.3 seconds.




3,246 cc
360 hp @ 7,900 rpm
370 Nm @ 4,900 rpm

This enhanced version of the S54 engine powered the M3 CSL, a lightweight version of the E46 M3 built in small numbers. At the time, it was the most powerful inline six-cylinder production car engine in BMW’s history.




BMW 850CSi
5,576 cc
380 hp @ 5,300 rpm
550 Nm @ 4,000 rpm

The design of aluminium S70 V12 engine spawned from the notably well-balanced M70 V12 from the 750 & 850, whose design itself is similar to that of two M20 straight-six engines joined at a 60 degree angle at the crank. With 1,510 units produced, this is the lowest production BMW engine to date. Three prototype DOHC S70 engines with four valves per cylinder were constructed, prior to the decision to not produce an E31 M8 model. The S70 name was continued with the S70/2 and S70/3 engines, which powered the McLaren F1 & V12 LM respectively, although shared little with the S70B56 other than a 12 cylinder layout.



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