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    • Can a naturally aspirated E46 M3 S54 inline-6 makes as much power and torque as an E92 M3 S65 V8? 3.5 liter S54 stroker dyno overlay against stock S65

      Yes, the E46 M3 can put out as much power and torque as the E92 M3. However, it takes the S54 quite a bit of work to get there. Regardless, the dyno overlay pictured shows a naturally aspirated S54 not only matching the larger S65 V8 all motor but exceeding it in both power and torque. What makes this impressive is that the S54 stroked to 3.5 liters is still giving up a half liter of displacement on the 4.0 liter S65 V8.

      This is an S54 that is definitely pushing the naturally aspirated envelope. 3.5 liters of displacement, Active Autowerke tune, Alpha-N intake setup, AC belt removed, and the engine fan clutch removed. The S65 V8 in the E92 M3 is completely stock as delivered from the factory.

      The S54 shows an incredible torque advantage especially in the mid-range. It hits a peak of 286 lb-ft at the wheels on the Active Autowerke Mustang Dyno compared to the S65 239 lb-ft at the wheels. More torque from less displacement is just incredible to see.

      The peak horsepower figure difference between the two is also in the S54's favor with it putting down 362 horsepower to the wheels against the S65 336. An advantage of 26 horsepower at the wheels for the S54.

      So which is ultimately more capable naturally aspirated? The S65 of course. This is a stock S65 as it comes from the factory with all accessories connected for a street car. This S54 verging out of streetable territory and is more of a race application. That said, the S54 can match and exceed the S65 V8's stock output. The advantage goes right back to the S65 V8 once it is tuned, modified, and especially if it is stroked out to its 4.6+ liter capability. A very interesting comparison of one of the best naturally aspirated inline-6's and V8's BMW M has ever created nonetheless.


      This article was originally published in forum thread: Can a naturally aspirated E46 M3 S54 inline-6 makes as much power and torque as an E92 M3 S65 V8? 3.5 liter S54 stroker dyno overlay against stock S65 started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 50 Comments
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        I wonder which stroker kit they used, and if they are using stock cams? Very very impressive.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GG///M3 Click here to enlarge
        I wonder which stroker kit they used, and if they are using stock cams? Very very impressive.
        It's custom built by AA as I understand it.
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        It's custom built by AA as I understand it.

        I'll have to give Karl a call.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        @Andrew@activeautowerke does this have aftermarket cams?
      1. 0-60Motorsports's Avatar
        0-60Motorsports -
        Very nicely done by AA. Full specs??
      1. leveraged sellout's Avatar
        leveraged sellout -
        Yeah I'd love to know full specs. This is very impressive though. I'd love to drive this thing.
      1. inlineS54B32's Avatar
        inlineS54B32 -
        "A very interesting comparison of one of the best naturally aspirated inline-6's and V8's BMW M has ever created nonetheless." - this is something I agree with, and I think it speaks for itself why when these cars came out, even though the acceleration wasn't at supercar levels, the engine itself was - and shined through all the way through the chassis in a way that isn't comparable to much else outside of its price range... Outside of say - the 458 Italia engine or maybe the LFA's 1LR-GUE - these cars/engines (even still today 10 years later) are simply incomparable to most anything out on the street. Not talking about pure power here, or ease of tune - talking about the characteristics that make it a proper sports/race engine.

        I drove the 991 911 S recently, and was expecting something spectacular out of the engine; don't get me wrong, the car was great - I am somewhat considering one... It just didn't have that "special" feeling, and cannot find reason to get out of the M right now. The powerband/throttle response/feedback/feel that these motors have are on another level for what you pay for. It's a shame it's a part of history and won't be likely seen again in the near future. Pure over-engineered ridiculous NA engines are a thing of the past. Click here to enlarge

        On that overly long note, I need to get my cats off - it's been too long. I have test pipes just sitting in a box, and was waiting for emission testing to finish, now am waiting for the weather - etc... Excuses. After seeing this, it's time to do it. Click here to enlarge

        Props to the tuner, and to the owner - congratulations on having what I would consider a perfectly tuned S54 for both street and track. Very impressive stuff.

        Cheers.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
        this is something I agree with, and I think it speaks for itself why when these cars came out, even though the acceleration wasn't at supercar levels, the engine itself was - and shined through all the way through the chassis in a way that isn't comparable to much else outside of its price range... Outside of say - the 458 Italia engine or maybe the LFA's 1LR-GUE - these cars/engines (even still today 10 years later) are simply incomparable to most anything out on the street. Not talking about pure power here, or ease of tune - talking about the characteristics that make it a proper sports/race engine.
        Exactly. I don't understand how people don't get this.

        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
        I drove the 991 911 S recently, and was expecting something spectacular out of the engine; don't get me wrong, the car was great - I am somewhat considering one... It just didn't have that "special" feeling, and cannot find reason to get out of the M right now. The powerband/throttle response/feedback/feel that these motors have are on another level for what you pay for. It's a shame it's a part of history and won't be likely seen again in the near future. Pure over-engineered ridiculous NA engines are a thing of the past.
        You might need to drive the GT3. Regardless the M motors with their individual throttle bodies just were very special and unmatched in their response. I don't even know who else did ITB's.
      1. Mike@VAC's Avatar
        Mike@VAC -
        VAC/Arrow 3.5L crank
        VAC/SP forged rods
        CP 11.5:1 CR pistons
        Schrick 288/280 csl cams
        CSL airbox
        AA headers
        SS rear muffler
        AA 100 cell cats in section1
        ported head by AA
        AA built
        AA tuned


        Absolutely freaking badassssssss. We have a client who we built a similar setup for - he will be getting some AA tuning later this year!
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
        VAC/Arrow 3.5L crank
        VAC/SP forged rods
        CP 11.5:1 CR pistons
        Schrick 288/280 csl cams
        CSL airbox
        AA headers
        SS rear muffler
        AA 100 cell cats in section1
        ported head by AA
        AA built
        AA tuned


        Absolutely freaking badassssssss. We have a client who we built a similar setup for - he will be getting some AA tuning later this year!
        Aaaaaand there we are.
      1. ekis18's Avatar
        ekis18 -
        Any idea how much it cost to get this done?
      1. stosh1's Avatar
        stosh1 -
        Yup, awesome build! I hope to make similar HP (not torque) w/my new cylinder head on a stock bottem end. I believe that this is engine is in Robert Chang's car, here's a quick dyno vid:

      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ekis18 Click here to enlarge
        Any idea how much it cost to get this done?
        $10k+ easy.
      1. Mike@VAC's Avatar
        Mike@VAC -
        This is a pump gas street car Click here to enlarge

        Rough pricing:
        VAC/Arrow 3.5L crank - $5400
        VAC/SP forged rods - 959
        CP 11.5:1 CR pistons - $1059
        Schrick 288/280 cams - $1650 (+$1100 for DLC followers)
        CSL airbox - $3k
        AA headers - $1300
        SS rear muffler
        AA 100 cell cats in section1
        ported head by AA - varies by shop
        AA built - shops charge 3-6k for labor
        AA tuned - very reasonable
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -

        I just saw this car run yesterday at Circuit of The Americas. BMWCCA Trifecta is currently going on this weekend.

        Car sounds fantastic.
      1. GG///M3's Avatar
        GG///M3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by BlackJetE90OC Click here to enlarge
        I just saw this car run yesterday at Circuit of The Americas. BMWCCA Trifecta is currently going on this weekend.

        Car sounds fantastic.
        Thanks I did a great job on the exhaust/cam design.
      1. GetSomeE92's Avatar
        GetSomeE92 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
        This is a pump gas street car Click here to enlarge

        Rough pricing:
        VAC/Arrow 3.5L crank - $5400
        VAC/SP forged rods - 959
        CP 11.5:1 CR pistons - $1059
        Schrick 288/280 cams - $1650 (+$1100 for DLC followers)
        CSL airbox - $3k
        AA headers - $1300
        SS rear muffler
        AA 100 cell cats in section1
        ported head by AA - varies by shop
        AA built - shops charge 3-6k for labor
        AA tuned - very reasonable
        So $20k+. Those are some deep pockets.
      1. Mike@VAC's Avatar
        Mike@VAC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by GetSomeE92 Click here to enlarge
        So $20k+. Those are some deep pockets.
        I guess. In the world of serious modding 20k is a drop in the bucket really.....passion blocks all logic.

        I'm a I6 guy above all, so the S54 is really at the top of my engine list (when looking at non exotics) There are few things cooler than a 500hp n/a 3.X S54 ripping it.

        a 450hp civil street S54 engine is just incredible...
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
        I guess. In the world of serious modding 20k is a drop in the bucket really.....passion blocks all logic.

        I'm a I6 guy above all, so the S54 is really at the top of my engine list (when looking at non exotics) There are few things cooler than a 500hp n/a 3.X S54 ripping it.

        a 450hp civil street S54 engine is just incredible...
        You'll hear that on a forum filled with piggybacks costing a couple hundred bucks Click here to enlarge

        A proper engine build is $$$$.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        And people said the s54 came nearly maxed out from the factory HA! This is awesome for the s54 platform... 14 years old and people are still squeezing NA hp out of it s54> everything else