The BMW M8 carries the most powerful BMW engine that BMW has ever made: The S63 gasoline twin-turbo. The M8 Competition is powered by a direct-injected 4.4 L V8 twin-turbo engine that boasts 617 horsepower and reaches from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.0 seconds with a electronically-limited top speed of 155 miles per hour.
The 4.4 L S63 twin-turbo V8 engine
The most powerful engine BMW has ever made is currently used in the F90 M5 and M5 Competition, as well as the F91, 92 and 93 M8s from after the year 2019. It’s also in the post-2020 F95 X5 and X6 models, such as X5 M and X6 M.
The S63 was originally based on the N63 engine, which debuted with the BMW X6 M. It uses a pulse tuned, cross-engine exhaust manifold that boosts the engine by constantly exhausting pulses from the turbos at every single rotation of the engine. The N63 was the first turbocharged V8 engine that BMW produced.
The cross-bank exhaust manifolds inside the V of the engine and is an innovation that greatly reduces turbo lag and boosts the thermal efficiency of the engine.
S63 Engine cooling systems
The cooling system of the S63 engine is mainly powered by an electric pump that helps circulate coolant to the turbochargers and engine. The oil pan is equipped with its own secondary front chamber with a scavenging pump, in order to make sure there is enough oil pressure at all times, even at very high speeds.
Unsurprisingly, both the luxury sedans and the BMW X SUVs that are equipped with the S63 are the fastest BMWs on track. The S63 comes with the limited option of 8-speed automatic transmission. There is also a driving mode available in which you can manually shift between gears. The Drivelogic button allows for a few modes to ease your experience.
4.4 L S63 twin-turbo V8 Engine Reliability
S63 is not only the most powerful BMW engine that was ever produced, it is also one of the most reliable. X5 M drivers have often reported their SUVs reaching more than 150k miles with few to no repairs.
Compared to its predecessor, the N63, the S63 is a much better-built motor. It is a pretty sturdy engine, with the sole exception of occasional vacuum leaks.
Other fast BMW engines: Notable mentions
BMW relies on performance and driving pleasure to please its fanbase. High-rev engines have always attracted the public and will continue to do so. Going all the way up to 9,000 rpm is rare in most cars, but BMW doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
S65 V8 Engine
The S65 V8 engine is used in the E90 and E92 M3 BMW models. It brings in 414 horsepower and has a redline of 8450 rpm, which would excite most sports car enthusiasts. There is a reason why people love the sound of the Ferrari and it is due to the high revs that make it as beautiful as it is.
S70 / 2 V12 BMW Engine
BMW manufactured this engine specifically for the McLaren F1 supercar, which was designed by the same team that designs the McLaren Formula 1 cars. Despite being manufactured in 1992, this car kept the title of the fastest naturally aspirated engine in the world until 2013.
This 6.1-liter V-12 engine with 48 valves is equipped with an aluminium block and heads. It brings in 627 bhp with a redline of 7.500 rpm. It weighs only 250 kg or 550 lbs and is labelled as arguably the best engine in history. Thanks to this chain-driven engine with 480 lbs feet of torque, McLaren set the record for the fastest car in the world for more than 10 years.
With a variable-valve timing and dry-sump lubrication, BMW took the game to the next level when they revealed that, including the transmission, this engine would not weigh more than 550 lbs.
The BMW i8 Hybrid 3-cylinder engine and electric engine
Certainly, nobody would expect the mention of a hybrid engine when it comes to top-performing engines, but this one deserves its place here. With its release in 2014, the BMW i8 vehicle proved that electric vehicles and performance driving are not in any way mutually exclusive.
The BMW i8 is powered by two engines, a gasoline one and an electric one. Together, they make up 362 horsepower and the i8 reaches from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 5 seconds. Of course, compared to the 3 seconds the S63 can do, this seems rather slow, but it deserves a special mention, being a one of a kind engine.
The 3-cylinder turbocharged 1.5-liter engine makes 231 horsepower and is paired with an electric counterpart that does 131 horsepower with a battery capacity of 11. kWh. BMW will undoubtedly continue its development of hybrid vehicles and engines since the i8 was a huge success.
What engines do BMWs generally use?
BMW is known for its great performance and driving pleasure it brings to its fanbase. They mainly develop and use inline-six engines, also known as straight-six engines. Despite most manufacturers and competing brands having switched to a V6 layout, BMW keeps going with the inline-six engines and it works out great. They are also currently producing V10, V12 and inline-three engines.
Are BMW engines reliable?
Although BMW has a reputation for bad reliability on the road, the drivetrain is solid and you will rarely see any serious damage and need for very costly repairs unless you neglect the maintenance of your vehicle or you’ve driven for more than 100,000 miles. Of course, keep in mind that different models carry different engines and it greatly depends on what you pick.
Which BMW engines are the most reliable?
The most reliable BMW engine is the one used in the 3-Series E90. The N52 l6 engine is not the most powerful with the 2.5-litre six-cylinder engine and 215 horsepower, but more power isn’t always better when talking about reliability. Many drivers have reported going all the way up to 150,000 miles without having an issue on these engines.