• 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 46 Comments
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        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
        I wish I could kick everyone who said the S54 or the S65 were maxed out square in the nuts.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I wish I could kick everyone who said the S54 or the S65 were maxed out square in the nuts.
        I agree.

        I can't wait to see where the s6/85 are going to be in the next few yearsClick here to enlarge
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        I agree.

        I can't wait to see where the s6/85 are going to be in the next few yearsClick here to enlarge
        Naturally aspirated I can tell you now.

        I just wish I could punch in the face the morons telling me the S65 was maxed out and that I had no idea what I was saying.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Naturally aspirated I can tell you now.

        I just wish I could punch in the face the morons telling me the S65 was maxed out and that I had no idea what I was saying.
        Personally I prefer naturally aspirated, but I can deffinately appreciate forced induction
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        Personally I prefer naturally aspirated, but I can deffinately appreciate forced induction
        Chasing power with forced induction is like chasing the dragon.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Chasing power with forced induction is like chasing the dragon.
        Lmfao Exelent play on words
      1. Irishace's Avatar
        Irishace -
        Wow this is incredible.
      1. inlineS54B32's Avatar
        inlineS54B32 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        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.
        Yeah, if I ever see one, it's on. Click here to enlarge

        That would be my favorite all around car, and that's without driving it. 9000 RPM redline in a street car = an amazing feat; that car is an amazing piece of work.
      1. inlineS54B32's Avatar
        inlineS54B32 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        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
        LOL - yeah, I said 10 - was off by 4 years (re: S54 and age). When you think about it ANY way it's cut - this is one of (if not the) best engine out there. The S85/65 are jewels too - but for some reason I like the idea of I6s most. Especially the ones like in this article. Click here to enlarge
      1. GetSomeE92's Avatar
        GetSomeE92 -
        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...
        I don't disagree. If you've got it, go for it.
      1. GetSomeE92's Avatar
        GetSomeE92 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        You'll hear that on a forum filled with piggybacks costing a couple hundred bucks Click here to enlarge

        A proper engine build is $$$$.
        What can I say, we're spoiled. Click here to enlarge

        But I also understand that a proper engine build is big money, which is why not many people do it, comparatively speaking.
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
        LOL - yeah, I said 10 - was off by 4 years (re: S54 and age). When you think about it ANY way it's cut - this is one of (if not the) best engine out there. The S85/65 are jewels too - but for some reason I like the idea of I6s most. Especially the ones like in this article. Click here to enlarge
        I 100% agree granted I'm a little bias, but I think this is the best engine BMW ever built

        edit* also I believe the s54 was the longes produced engine bmw hassd... At least in the M cars. From 2000 (m3/z3m) to 2009 I believe (z4m)
      1. BlackJetE90OC's Avatar
        BlackJetE90OC -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        You'll hear that on a forum filled with piggybacks costing a couple hundred bucks Click here to enlarge
        That same forum of people wouldn't own a BMW if they didn't have turbos. They are not the quintessential BMW owner that religiously tracks their car.

        They simply don't understand the purpose of this car or why someone would spend the money on a build like this.
      1. digger's Avatar
        digger -
        you cant even do a proper built old school 12V inline BMW for less than 12-15k and you'll end up almost 100 horse short of the S54 so its not much when you look at the whole picture.

        both S65 and S85 are pretty soft out of the box i think BMW did this with room to move for subsequent evolution of these engines but the turbo and emission concerns came to the fore too quickly.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by digger Click here to enlarge
        both S65 and S85 are pretty soft out of the box i think BMW did this with room to move for subsequent evolution of these engines but the turbo and emission concerns came to the fore too quickly.
        They are over 100 hp per liter so not necessarily soft but they left themselves a bit of displacement so there is truth to what you are saying. BMW could have made a 500+ horse S65.
      1. IMHOWTFFTW's Avatar
        IMHOWTFFTW -
        The way Karl described the sound of this S54 alone , makes me want a E36 track car. The corner exit speed with that TQClick here to enlarge
      1. TTFS's Avatar
        TTFS -
        Looks good guys, well done.
      1. digger's Avatar
        digger -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        They are over 100 hp per liter so not necessarily soft but they left themselves a bit of displacement so there is truth to what you are saying. BMW could have made a 500+ horse S65.
        Was more looking at tq/L (closely relates to BMEP) this is a good look at how well tuned an engine is simply making power with more revs is not hard in today’s world with a 4V engine.
        Out of the box factory rated
        S65B40: 3.999L, 295 lb-ft = 74 lb-ft/L.
        S85B50: 4.999L, 384 lb-ft = 77 lb-ft/L.
        S54B32: 3.246L, 270 lb-ft = 83 lb-ft/L.
      1. digger's Avatar
        digger -
        delete this pls
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by digger Click here to enlarge
        Was more looking at tq/L (closely relates to BMEP) this is a good look at how well tuned an engine is simply making power with more revs is not hard in today’s world with a 4V engine.
        Out of the box factory rated
        S65B40: 3.999L, 295 ft/lb = 74 lb-ft/L.
        S85B50: 4.999L, 384 ft-lb = 77 lb-ft/L.
        S54B32: 3.246L, 270 ft/lb = 83 lb-ft/L.
        I agree the S65 is not pushed nearly as hard but it's still a very efficient motor with more on the table.