The new BMW M5 CS sits at the top of the most powerful production series BMW cars ever made. It took nearly 30 years to overshadow the iconic S70 McLaren F1 engine. Even though, some may argue that there was another BMW engine which was more powerful than the S70. That would be the modified N74 twelve-cylinder unit that sits under the hood of the Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge. With 632 PS, the N74 is only 3 PS short of the M5 CS’ engine and 5 PS more than the S70. So with the help of BimmerToday, we now take a look at the Top 10 Most Powerful BMW Engines of All Time.
10. S62 – BMW M5 (E39)
The E39 M5 was powered by the 4,941-cc BMW S62 V8 engine. The peak output of 295 kW / 400 PS (394 hp) reaches the rear-axle wheels channeled through a 6-speed manual transmission. It has a peak torque of 500 Newton meters (368 lb-ft). The redline was set at 7,000 rpm. The S62 was BMW’s first V8 engine to have double-VANOS (variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust camshafts.
10. B57 – BMW 750d (G11/G12)
In 2016, a new generation of the 6-cylinder diesel engines made its way into the 7 Series family. The 2017 750d was fitted with the monstrous diesel engine which delivered 400 PS (394 HP) and 760 Nm (560 lb-ft) of torque. The new mill was capable of such outstanding output figures thanks to its four turbochargers, two for every three cylinders. BMW decided to drop the previous arrangement that had two small turbos accompanied by a bigger one, for a better throttle response and more efficiency. The B57 shares its tenth spot with the S62.
9. S65 – BMW M3 GTS (E92)
The S65 V8 is arguably one of BMW’s best engines ever built. The 4.4 liter V8 was the heart of the E90/E92/E93 family and it later found a home in the special edition E92 M3 GTS. Featuring 331 kW/450 PS and construction principles and technical details carried over directly from motorsport, the S65 offered the ideal preconditions for use at club sport events, while at the same time being officially road-legal. The torque was rated at 440 Newton Meters (324 lb-ft).
8. N73 – Rolls-Royce Phantom VII
BMW originally intended to use a 9.0L V16 engine in the Phantom, but in the end, they settled on their tested and tried V12 6.8 liter. The massive engine produced 460 PS (338 kW; 454 hp) and 720 Nm (531 lb-ft). It was just as smooth as it was powerful, and a delight for the Rolls-Royce drivers. The engine was also used on the F01/F02 760Li generation.
7. S55 – BMW M4 GTS (F82)
Water cooling is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about the M4 GTS. Water Injection, a world first on the GTS, significantly lowers combustion chamber temperature by spraying an extremely fine mist into it during combustion. This decrease in temperature, by up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, increases both power and efficiency while also reducing engine knock. The BMW M4 GTS now makes 500 PS (from 425 PS) and 600 Nm of torque (442 lb-ft).
6. S85 – BMW M5 (E60)
Controversial, but unique, the BMW M5 E60 also featured one of the coolest engines – The S85 V10. The M5, with its F1-inspired 507 PS V10 engine, is undoubtedly one of the best BMWs ever made, and by some accounts, the best M5 ever. Pounding out a whopping 507 hp and 520 Nm (383 ft/lbs) of torque, the E60 M5 rocketed to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Top speed is limited at 155 mph(250km/h).
5. S58 – BMW X3 M / X4 M (F97/F98)
The successor of the S55 is the BMW S58 six-cylinder turbo engine. Used in the upcoming G80 M3 and G82 M4, the revised powerplant made its debut last year alongside the first ever X3 M and X4 M. It’s still a 3.0 liter inline-six cylinder engine but it’s been given a comprehensive M Division upgrade, to make more power while also making it more usable on the track. All of the tweaks and upgrades give the BMW X3 M a very healthy 510 PS and 650 Nm (442 lb-ft of torque).
4. N63 – BMW M850i (G15)
The M850i sports a 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 and you might be thinking “well, big whoop. But before the BMW M850i, the most recent use of this new twin-turbo V8 was the BMW M550i. That car makes 462 PS (456 hp) and 480 lb-ft of torque, which is nothing to sneeze at. But the BMW M850i uses a version of the M550i’s engine, except it’s been tuned to make 530 PS and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque.
3. S70 – McLaren F1
Without question, the S70/2 is the greatest engine BMW M has ever made and it’s one of the greatest engines of all time, full-stop. Also, up until just a few days ago, it was still the most powerful engine that BMW M has ever produced. The 6.1 liter, free-breathing V12 made 627 PS and 651 Nm (480 lb-ft) of torque and featured a dry-sump oil system, twelve individual throttle bodies and BMW’s VANOS variable valve timing. It was also made from exotic materials, consisting of mostly aluminum, some magnesium and the famous heat-reflective gold foil that lined the engine bay.
2. N74 – Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge
Based on PS output, the Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge is actually the second most powerful BMW Group model. Under the hood of this massive car is a BMW-sourced 6.6 liter twin-turbocharged V12. It makes 632 PS and 870 Nm (642 lb-ft of torque), or enough to shame a Lamborghini Huracan. This might be also the last V12 to be featured in a Rolls-Royce, so that makes it even more special.
1. S63 – BMW M5 CS
The new BMW M5 CS is not only the most powerful production series BMW ever made, but also the best when it comes to the power-to-weight ratio. Featuring 635 PS and 70 kilograms lower than the M5 Competition, the new M5 CS is the first BMW series car ever to remain below a power-to-weight ratio of 3 kilograms per horsepower. The torque is measured at 750 Nm (553 lb-ft). It’s a marvelous engine which we hope to see in other BMWs as well.