Here's What Happens When You Slap a Massive Turbo on a Non-M BMW Engine

BMW's standard engines might not be as exotic, but they can make some big power with the right mods.

image
1320video

BMW's most famous engines are usually found in cars hailing from its M performance division. High-revving and incredibly complex, they're great to listen to, but sometimes, they aren't the best choice when it comes to modding.

That's why the builder of this E46-generation M3 drag car decided to go for a more primitive BMW engine for his 950-horsepower big turbo setup. Instead of using the high-strung (but famously unreliable) S54 straight-six the car came with, he opted to use an M50 engine. The M50 is a 2.5-liter BMW straight-six used in the earlier E36 3-Series and E34 5-Series. Unlike the later S54, it doesn't have fancy tech like BMW's VANOS variable valve timing tech, which means there's less stuff to break.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

With some heavy-duty internals and a massive turbocharger, the builder was able to squeeze out no less than 950 horsepower. That gets to the wheels via the car's stock E46 M3 six-speed manual and differential. Watch it hit nearly 175 mph during a runway event right here.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Motorsports