For the second year in a row, the outstanding BMW B58 powerplant grabbed the 10 Best Engines from WardsAuto. The North American publications has recently announced the winners of the 2020 edition of the “10 Best Engines and Powertrains” award. The updated BMW B58 3.0-liter engine was among those to grab the laurels again. The jury was impressed by the efficient power delivery, the overall technical performance and the consistent application of the 6-cylinder unit across the BMW range of models.

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Tom Murphy, WardsAuto Managing Editor, highlighted the main strengths of the engine: “We tested this B58 inline six-cylinder turbo a year ago in the larger X5 and it won, with 335 hp. Now, just a year later, it comes to us in the all-new 3-Series, which is quite a bit lighter, with an extra 47 hp.

The B58 was great then – it’s even better now. Stretching its legs, the M340i exhibits a glorious, throaty exhaust note, especially when cycling through gears with paddle shifters. This engine is remarkably flexible, great for daily driving and thrilling under a heavy foot.”

The B58 engine can be found on the US versions of the M340i, Z4 M40i, X3 M40i and X4 M40i. Specifically for these models, the 3.0-liter petrol burner delivers a peak output of 382 hp at 5,800 – 6,500 rom, combined with a maximum torque of 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) achievable between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm.

A slightly detuned version of the B58 unit with 340 PS (335 hp) powers the 40i variants of the 5 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series, X5, X6 and X7.

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For the upgraded generation of the B58 powerplant, BMW engine developers have made an extensive use of aluminum, which is 100% used for the crankcase and cylinder head. Furthermore, the TwinPower Turbo technology has been further refined with the addition of a new twin-scroll turbocharger, which is 25% lighter and builds up pressure faster than the preceding engine generation.

The B58 unit also feature High Precision Injection technology, the Double VANOS variable camshaft control and the VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control. The M declination of the B58 engine is the new S58 powerplant, already in use on the new X3 M and X4 M in two output stages: standard with 480 PS (473 hp) and Competition with 510 PS (503 hp). This engine will also power the forthcoming M3 and M4 generations (G80/G82/G83).

Ralph Mahler, Head of Product Planning and Strategy for BMW of North America, commented on the occasion: “The inline six-cylinder engine has been the heart and soul of the Ultimate Driving Machine for over eighty years. Every new updated version continues to improve the engine’s refinement, smoothness, power delivery and efficiency; all traits which are valued by our customers today and without doubt for many more years to come. We are extremely grateful and thankful for this recognition by the WardsAutos jurors.”

BMW has a long tradition in the development of 6-cylinder engines which began 87 years ago with the BMW 303 Sedan. Currently, the straight-six powerplants are a common presence across the range, with both diesel and gasoline combustion being widely available.