BMW’s current N54 series straight-six engine is one of the most praised engines in the industry today, having taken out the coveted
International Engine of the Year award
last year and appearing in a vast array of BMW models. With the unveiling of the new 5-series GT
last week, BMW has announced a new variation of the 3.0L engine which will debut in the crossover at the end of the year.
The N54 features a twin-turbocharging system, as well as direct-fuel injection and BMW’s own Valvetronic technology, and in its most potent configuration develops up to 326hp (243kW) at 5,800rpm and 332lb-ft (450Nm) of torque from as low as 1,500rpm. BMW’s new variation on the engine, labeled the N55, is based on the same basic engine block and valve system but only sports a single turbocharger. It is the world’s first engine to combine turbocharging, direct fuel injection and fully variable Valvetronic valve management developed by BMW.
Peak output is still a healthy 306hp (225kW) at 5,800rpm and 295lb-ft (400Nm) of torque from an even lower 1,200rpm. Furthermore, the new N55 is also said to be more fuel-efficient than the N54 though no independent test results have been produced.
As previously mentioned, the N55 engine will debut in the 535i 5-series GT along with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This model will be able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in around 6.3 seconds and is rated at 26mpg (9L/100km) in fuel economy.
2010 BMW 5-series GT official images