Top 10 greatest BMW engines

Date Published: October 29, 2020

BMW has a long lasting reputation for making some of the best performance engines from sport cars to aircraft to electric innovations. It is clear that BMW has proven their value in creating outstanding models. However, the big question still remains. Which BMW engines are the greatest of all time? Here is a list of some of the greatest BMW engines.

1.The inline 6-cylinder BMW Illa aircraft engine (1917)

In 1917, shortly after the foundation of the Bavarian Engine Works – or “Bayerische Motoren Werke,” or BMW as we know it , the first BMW engine was developed. Engineers developed the BMW IIIa aircraft engine. 

2. The 2-cylinder boxer engine in the BMW R 5 motorcycle (1936)

BMW is one of the most diverse car brands of all time. BMW went from producing aircraft engines to producing motor vehicle and motorcycle engines. The BMW R5 is powered by a 30-cubic-inch (500 cc) boxer engine with an impressive power output for the time of 24 hp. The R 5 is said to be one of the most reliable engines produced by BMW.

3. The inline 6-cylinder engine in the BMW 328 (1986)

The 6-cylinder engine is one of the engines that created the long lasting reputation of BMW as a sporty vehicle. This sports car was a real machine, having the ability to hit up to 5000 revolutions per minute, the BMW 328 was a real beast!

4. The V8-cylinder engine in the BMW 502 (1954)

The BMW 502 is well known for its sweeping lines and curving body, it is also popularly known as the “Baroque Angel”. The V8 engine was one of the first mass-produced engines in the world. Many authorities were impressed with the BMW 502 and found it to be very reliable hence police and fire departments used the car as an emergency vehicle. 

5.The 4-cylinder turbo engine in the BMW 2002 Turbo (E20) (1973)

This model was the first mass-produced European car with a turbocharger. In it’s time, an engine with a turbocharger was not very common. Today, the turbocharger is an important technology to make car engines even more efficient.

6. The inline 6-cylinder engine in the BMW 3.0 CSL racing coupe (E9) (1974)

At the end of the 1980s the multi-valve became popular: the four-valve tech from auto racing was increasingly being used in mass production. While the mass-produced version of the engine in BMW 3.0 CSL racing coupe was a two-valve producing horsepower(hp) of up to 206, the racing version had a four-valve cylinder, producing up to 440 hp. Today, multi-valves have become more common in engine design and allow us to save resources as we drive.

7. The 4-cylinder turbo engine in the BMW Formula 1 racing car (1983)

The BMW Formula 1 racing car engine paved the way for today’s downsizing method in designing engines. The downsizing method is the shrinking of engines without losing performance. This particular engine is only 92 cubic inch (1.5 liter) in size and was rumored to have reached 1200hp in training sessions.

Considering the fact that this was before electronic driver assistance systems, the performance of this engine was iconic and paved the way for many engines that exist today.

8. The 6-cylinder diesel engine in the BMW 524td (E28) (1983)

After BMW had been creating engines for 60 years, it was time that they made their mark with a mass-produced diesel engine in BMW 5 series. Diesel was once only used in tractor and trucks,  but became more acceptable for cars. The BMW 524td offered sheer driving pleasure and paved the way for many diesel engines that exist today. 

9. The V12-cylinder engine in the BMW 750i (E32) (1987)

The V12-cylinder engine in the BMW 750i (E32) has one of the greatest reputations for engine smoothness. In order to test out the smoothness of this engine, a coin was placed on the edge of the engine while it was running and it did not fall off. The V12-cylinder engine in the BMW 750i (E32) set the tone for electric engines where “smoothness” is a key feature. 

10. The hybrid 3-cylinder engine and electric engine in the BMW i8 (I12) (2014)

The BMW i8 engine is powered by both an electric and a gasoline engine. The hybrid 3-cylinder engine and electric engine has the horsepower reach of 362. The combustion engine drives the rear wheels, while the electric engine takes care of the front axle. In 2019, the BMW i8 Plug-in hybrid won the Engine of the year award for the fifth year in a row.

Author: Omega Fumba