With sadness it is our duty to report that one of BMW’s best engine in the last 16 years has come to the end of its life. Codenamed S54B32, the 3.2 liter straight six cylinder engine “died” when the last E85 Z4 rolled out of the production lane this past summer. The S54B32 also powered one of the most popular M cars in the BMW’s history: the E46 M3.
The S54B32 evolved from the S52B32 engine which powered the E36 M3 in the 90’s. It outputs 343 horsepower, 269 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm. The engine was shared among the Z3 and Z4 M Roadsters and Coupe and it was one of the most admired engines by the BMW fans.
To quote the friends at Jalopnik, “The reasons for its popularity are two-fold: its specific power output exceeds 100 HP/liter without the aid of forced induction and its torque curve is fat, smooth and gap-free across the rev range. The S54B32 revs quickly, makes power everywhere, sounds like nothing else on the planet, responds instantly and, most importantly, is really, really fast.”
If you followed our article and analysis on the International Engine of the Year awards, you might have noticed that 3.2 liter straight six naturally aspirated engine won the award in 2001, the same year it was introduced as a new engine in the BMW line-up. For the next five years, it won the award for the Best Engine in the 3 liter to 4 liter category, an impressive run.
The new BMW Z4 will bring a new line-up of six straight engines, from the 2.5 liter 204 horsepower and 3.0 liter 258 horsepower to the 306 horsepower twin-turbo 3.0 liter engine. Many bimmer fans are nostalgic and are having a hard time adopting the new turbo engines in favor of the naturally aspirated ones, but according to BMW, this is the proper step in the right direction.[Source: Jalopnik ]