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      01-31-2011, 01:15 AM   #1
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Why N54 and not N55 in 1M?

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I'm prepared to get flamed on this one, but I've been reading threads for a couple hours and can't find a definitive answer...

Why did BMW use the N54 in the 1M and not the N55?

I read through a mess of threads and speculation ranged anywhere from not having enough time to develop the N55, to the N54's two turbos being superior as horsepower goes up, to wanting to get more life out of existing tooling with the N54...

Seems the N55 being lighter would have been an advantage, and the power isn't much more than either the 135's N54 or N55 anyway. Just curious.

Apologies if I missed the juicy thread on the topic!
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      01-31-2011, 01:29 AM   #2
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Seriously? Everyone knows the N54 is better, it has twice as many turbos!
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      01-31-2011, 01:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTribe View Post
I'm prepared to get flamed on this one, but I've been reading threads for a couple hours and can't find a definitive answer...

Why did BMW use the N54 in the 1M and not the N55?

I read through a mess of threads and speculation ranged anywhere from not having enough time to develop the N55, to the N54's two turbos being superior as horsepower goes up, to wanting to get more life out of existing tooling with the N54...

Seems the N55 being lighter would have been an advantage, and the power isn't much more than either the 135's N54 or N55 anyway. Just curious.

Apologies if I missed the juicy thread on the topic!
When I asked this of an engineer I. Leipzig , I was told that the n54 is a better, more robust setup. The dual turbo setup is more expensive and makes more power than the single turbo n55. The response was unequivocal in indicating that the n54 is the better motor, therefore it is employed in the 1M.
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      01-31-2011, 02:23 AM   #4
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I thinks it's combined twin turbo with valvetronic, no?
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      01-31-2011, 02:35 AM   #5
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IIRC the N54 is twin turbo without valvetronic. The N55 is single, dual-scroll turbo with valvetronic.
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Last edited by Drillslinger; 01-31-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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      01-31-2011, 02:39 AM   #6
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There was some confusion about the N54 in the 1M in other threads:

- Valvetronic (as in the N55) with the N54 in the 1M
--> A couple authoritative-sounding folks said no valvetronic in the N54 in the 1M despite the rumors/misunderstanding.

- TwinPower labeled on the N54 like the N55, instead of TwinTurbo
--> BMW marketing is apparently using "TwinTurbo" as a general moniker for turbo technology in both the current N54s and N55s

Last edited by MTribe; 01-31-2011 at 03:01 AM.
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      01-31-2011, 03:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTribe View Post
I'm prepared to get flamed on this one, but I've been reading threads for a couple hours and can't find a definitive answer...

Why did BMW use the N54 in the 1M and not the N55?

I read through a mess of threads and speculation ranged anywhere from not having enough time to develop the N55, to the N54's two turbos being superior as horsepower goes up, to wanting to get more life out of existing tooling with the N54...

Seems the N55 being lighter would have been an advantage, and the power isn't much more than either the 135's N54 or N55 anyway. Just curious.

Apologies if I missed the juicy thread on the topic!
You can find the juicy thread somewhere, can't remember where, but the word is that they have problem with the N55 valvetronic. It would have been posted by Scott. As it was supposed to have a trick turbo setup (probably with CCM), we assumed it had issues with the turbo and it needs more time for the engineer to sort this out. The next M3 is rumoured to have this engine.

N55 like the N54 also has an all aluminium block unlike the N52/3 which has the aluminium-magnesium alloy block. So, N54 won't be more robust as such, but it's just more tested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTribe View Post
There was some confusion in another thread about a couple things:

- Valvetronic with the N54 in the 1M
--> A couple authoritative-sounding folks said no valvetronic in the N54 in the 1M despite the rumors/misunderstanding.

- TwinPower labeled on the N54 like the N55, instead of TwinTurbo
--> BMW marketing is apparently using "TwinTurbo" as a general moniker for turbo technology in both the current N54s and N55s
N54 has no valvetronic while N55 does. TwinPower Turbo is now used to describe both twin turbo and twinscroll turbos in their latest marketing, including the 1M.
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      01-31-2011, 07:16 AM   #8
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Guys, the answer is simple. The engine has already been developed for the Z4 35is!
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      01-31-2011, 09:31 AM   #9
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The only reason BMW developed the N55 was to improve mileage a bit for CAFE regs and lower emissions slightly. The N55 does marginally better than the N54 in those respects but loses a bit in the power dept.
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      01-31-2011, 09:42 AM   #10
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Why N54 and not N55 in 1M?

The N54 has forged internal parts as opposed to the N55 which does not.
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      01-31-2011, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drillslinger View Post
IIRC the N54 is twin turbo without valvetronic. The N54 is single, dual-scroll turbo with valvetronic.
So the N54 = twin turbo, no valvetronic AND
N54 = single, dual scroll, with valvetronic.

?
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      01-31-2011, 12:11 PM   #12
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I think he meant to say N55 for the single, dual scroll w/valvetronic
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      01-31-2011, 12:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobMason View Post
So the N54 = twin turbo, no valvetronic AND
N54 = single, dual scroll, with valvetronic.
Ooops I missed that too. Yeah, he meant N55.

Sorry, this is just more speculation...

RE MPG. I wonder if the DCT is really what drove the N55 in the 135. I noticed N55 w/6MT is 28mpg (epa hwy). N55 w/DCT is 25mpg. N54 with 6MT is 25mpg. So one could surmise the N54 w/DCT is ~22-23mpg, which would have been getting pretty low. Maybe this is also why the 1M is 6MT only? Not that people buy an ///M for mpg, but maybe significant for cafe regs?

RE cost. Someone mentioned BMW, worried about the economy, started cutting some cost like using the previous Euro-only base audio (even worse than the "hi-fi," or typical "base system" in the US). Alarm pre-wiring also stopped around this time. Maybe the N55 was motivated by cost reasons as well?

Or maybe if the N54 is more tunable up to higher power (someone else said "the N54 is a de-tuned 400hp car, the N55 is a de-tuned 360hp car), as an iconic car, the N54 may be BMW's nod that there's a big tuner industry with BMWs, and the 1M will certainly live on as future track machines, popular with modders, etc.?
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      01-31-2011, 12:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My E90 View Post
I think he meant to say N55 for the single, dual scroll w/valvetronic
Yup, obviously I was sober when I typed that
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      01-31-2011, 12:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTribe View Post
Maybe the N55 was motivated by cost reasons as well?
I think it's one of the main reasons... single turbo, single downpipe and less plumbing to cool/lube the turbo. Spread out over all the models that are getting the N55 and the savings add up.
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      01-31-2011, 12:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman1 View Post
The N54 has forged internal parts as opposed to the N55 which does not.
Sorry for the stupid question but what is the difference between forged parts and non-forged parts?
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      01-31-2011, 01:34 PM   #17
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Forged Parts are stonger for the same size/weight than cast parts or, alternatively, lighter for the same strength. This applies to many parts, in the auto industry and elsewhere.

Fundamentally, it's because the material is work-hardened during the forging process.
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      01-31-2011, 02:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman1 View Post
The N54 has forged internal parts as opposed to the N55 which does not.

Has this been proven?
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      01-31-2011, 03:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesman1 View Post
The N54 has forged internal parts as opposed to the N55 which does not.
First time I heard about this. Really?
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      01-31-2011, 03:10 PM   #20
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It is true. N54 crank is forged, N55 is not. Documented here before.
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      11-01-2013, 09:50 AM   #21
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N55 gets WardsAuto accolade, N54 won this before

WardsAuto just awarded BMW's N55 its Best 10 engines trophy (the N54 was a previous honoree). From the Wards website, we see BMW's perspective comparing the 1M's N54 to the mass producton N55 . . .

Christian Bock, who is responsible for BMW’s “big-car” (5, 6 and 7 Series and X5) powertrains, tells WardsAuto the N55’s paramount objective was higher fuel efficiency. In addition to output, fuel efficiency and customer-pleasing noise, vibration and harshness characteristics, the N55’s design priorities included excellent throttle response, near-zero turbo lag and high-rpm stability. And its engineers’ biggest challenge was integrating that BMW-first (and industry-exclusive) triumvirate of direct injection, Valvetronic and turbocharging exactly right.

Originally planned for low-volume sport models, the N54’s efficiency was not good enough to proliferate widely into higher-volume vehicles. The N55 today is BMW’s only engine with volume applications in every model line, either standard or available, from entry 1-Series to top-of-the-line 7 Series sedans and X1, X3 and X5 crossovers. The team’s toughest non-technical challenge was convincing people inside the company that the single-turbo/Valvetronic concept was at least as good as, maybe better than, the N54’s twin turbochargers. Many at the time did not appreciate the potential of the twin-scroll replacement. “They said it would be too conventional, not a true BMW engine.” he says.
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      11-01-2013, 10:38 AM   #22
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The N54 engine predates the N55. I had the N54 in my 07 335i. It's my understanding that the N54 with it's two turbo design has a higher ability for overall tuning than the N55, but the reason for the switch was 1 costs for the twin turbo setup and 2 BMW was able to add it signature Valvetronics system to the N55 which adds to fuel efficiencies as mentioned before but the N55 engine wasn't chosen for it upper end tuneability but instead for it's overall efficiencies.
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