5 Series Powerplants Make Wards 10 Best List

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Ward’s Auto has released their best engines of the year list, and once again BMW has themselves well represented. Both the N20 (four cylinder turbo) and the N55 (straight six turbo) reappeared on the list for the another year in a row. Obviously, they’re great engines, and both of them can be found in 5 Series.

The N20 is probably the more boring model, but saying that is like saying the Mary-Kate Olsen is only slightly less hot than Ashley. It’s really pulling at straws.

The one one the left… I think.

Like the famous twins though, the two engines are different. The N20 is a hopped up little four banger that’s exceedingly efficient, while being able to to pump out 242 horsepower. You won’t be the fastest car on the block with the 528i, but you’ll have plenty of power while saving gas. Wards Auto says they were able to drive the 328i hard and still net close to 30mpg. The 5 series probably fares a little worse, but that’s still really good. Speed isn’t everything all the time… But it can be, if that’s your thing.

That’s where the N55 comes in. You can get the twin-turbo straight six in the 535i. It’ll make 300hp and will gladly roast tires all day long. It’ll get 30 mpg highway too. Not bad for a six-cylinder right? Of course, if you really just wanted speed, then the M5 would be more your cup of tea. It’s twin-turbo didn’t get on the list. Honestly though, anyone considering an M5 isn’t going to care what list the car’s engine is on.


TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder and Inline-6 both repeat winners 

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 13, 2012…  BMW TwinPowerTurbo technology again takes two of Ward’s 2013 10 Best Engines Awards. The 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder (N20) and 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-6 (N55) are both repeat winners.

“Nearly every BMW now sold in the US features TwinPower Turbo technology,” said Ludwig Willisch – President and CEO of BMW of North America, LLC. “In such a competitive market, to take two spots highlights the benefits of the BMW EfficientDynamics philosophy. It also shows that while we look for improvements in efficiency, we are still committed to fulfilling the promise of The Ultimate Driving Machine.”

Currently five models feature the 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder – Z4 sDrive28i, 528i Sedan, 328i Sedan, X3 xDrive28i and more recently, the X1 sDrive28i/xDrive28i. They will be joined next spring by the 328i Sports Wagon.

“The BMW N20’s calling card is fuel efficiency. We drove the 328i hard and still achieved close to 30 mpg. There are other good new 2.0L turbos in the market, but the N20, paired with an 8-speed transmission, topped them by several miles per gallon in our testing,” said Tom Murphy, Executive Editor at Ward’s Auto World. “The N20 makes 120 hp per liter, delivers gratifying low-end torque and is the type of engine many 2.0L turbos hope to be some day.”

The 2013 740i and 740Li, as well as the X1 xDrive35i Sports Activity Vehicle, are the newest models to receive the TwinPower Turbo inline-6. In addition, the new BMW ActiveHybrid 3, 5 and 7 models all feature the N55 TwinPower Turbo inline 6.

“The 300-hp 3.0L turbocharged inline-6 is a fantastic engine in everything from the X1 to the 7 Series, so we figured putting it in the small-ish 135is, with an extra 20 hp and more torque, would be scintillating. We were right. It loves to rev, sounds like a 1960s muscle car and makes the tachometer needle dance like a Rockette,” noted Murphy. “The N55 does more work by 2,500 rpm than most engines do at wide-open throttle.”

The 2013 740i, 740Li and ActiveHybrid 7 use the higher output version of the N55, first seen in the 640i Coupe and Convertible. It takes output and torque from 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque to 315 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. They will go from 0 – 60 mph in about five-and-a-half seconds and deliver 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway/22 mpg combined for the 740i and 740Li. The ActiveHybrid 7 delivers even more impressive mileage at 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway/25 mpg combined.

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