When the N54 engine first came out, it took enthusiasts a while to make up their minds if it was a winner or a loser. It wasn’t an easy decision either, as it was set to replace the workhorse of BMW, the house specialty, if you will, in the shape of the naturally aspirated 3-liter straight-six N52 engine. Over the years, the twin turbo N54 won the hearts of many enthusiasts and it all began with the E90 BMW 335i.
Fitted with not one but two turbochargers, the 335i brought a lot of performance to the table. It was sharp, fast and had so much torque, that atmospheric units were quickly forgotten. Due to its layout it was also really easy to tune and beasts with over 400 HP were quickly roaming the streets, thanks to simple JB4 tunes.
Matt Farah recently had the pleasure of testing – what can still be regarded – a 335i. However, while the exterior might look stock, this beast has a lot more going for it than it shows. Under the hood, the owner decided to replace the twin-turbo setup with a single turbo version, leaving throttle response and low-rev torque to people that are actually interested in them. For him, only drag times mattered and he built a car to his taste.
Fitting a single 68 millimeter turbo under the hood and a meth injection system along with a new ECU map, our man managed to get the power output of his BMW up to no less than 830 WHP. That is simply mind blowing considering it’s all coming out of a 3-liter engine. Furthermore, the owner uses his car as a daily driver when he’s not out lighting drag strips on fire!
As Matt found out, his ride does need some improvements, such as the brakes for example, that are easily overwhelmed by the sheer power this monster makes. However, a lot of parts are still stock, including the engine’s internal bits, and that speaks louder than words could about the build quality of N54 units.