Consider the fact that the word “Motor” is in the brand’s name and it’s no longer surprising that BMW has made some incredible engines over the decades. While the brand’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” mantra sort of took over BMW’s reputation, it’s every bit as well known for making incredible powerplants as it is for making great handling cars. Over the brand’s one hundred years, it’s compiled a seemingly endless list of world-leading engines. Is this new BMW B58 engine among them?
When it comes to BMW, it seems as if a large part of the fanbase refuses to accept anything recent as among the brand’s best anything. Many BMW fans are still stuck in the past and have a hard time admitting modern BMWs to be superior to classic ones in any way. However, this new BMW B58 engine might just be one of the very best the Bavarian brand has ever made.
The reason we’re bringing this up is because the B58 just won yet another Ward’s Auto award. It’s been a Ward’s Auto winner since it debuted in the BMW 340i back in 2015. So it’s had quite a few years of dominance, being among the very best engines in the world. And yet, it’s managed to get better every single year.
Most recently, the BMW B58 made its way into three cars that really proved its brilliance. The first was the BMW Z4 M40i, which brought the all-new 382 hp North American B58 to the market. Thanks to the brilliant 3.0 liter turbocharged I6, the Z4 M40i is a German muscle car without a roof. It’s hilariously fast and raucous. After the Z4, the B58 showed up in the Toyota Supra and is a highlight of the Japanese icon. In fact, while Toyota was looking for partners to build the Supra, BMW stood out specifically due to how good the B58 is. Following the Supra was the BMW M340i, a car that manages to be faster than the F80 BMW M3 thanks to the B58.
Its application doesn’t matter. Stuff the BMW B58 into almost any car and it’s immediately better. Few engines manage to be so silky smooth, effortlessly powerful and aurally engaging at the same time. In fact, I can only think of a handful of engines on the market that manage to combine those attributes into one cohesive package and all of them are larger, more powerful and power far more expensive vehicles.
Obviously, the list of superb BMW engines is a long one. The M88/1 from the original BMW M1, the M88/3 from the E28 BMW M5, the S14 from the E30 M3 and the S85 V10 from the E60 M5 all come to mind. However, I think the BMW B58 engine deserves a place on the list of all-time BMW greats and is possibly the very best non-M engine BMW has ever made.