As your Mason BMW dealership, we love any opportunity to share BMW’s exceptional ability to build fast, luxurious, and innovative cars. So, to help satiate your need for speed, we’re here to explain some of the engineering behind the most powerful cars in the BMW lineup. We’ve also rounded up some of the fastest BMW sports cars in history so that you know what to look for if you want the true ultimate driving machine.
Meet the M TwinPower Turbo 4.4L V8
The heart of any vehicle is its engine and how it delivers the power you need when you need it. BMW answers this need in two distinct ways with its twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 engine. Built in BMW’s Munich plant, the twin-turbocharged engine takes two forms: the standard N63 powerplant and the performance-focused S63 speed demon. Interestingly, the 523 hp and the 617 hp V8 engines have the same bore and stroke, valve diameters, cam profiles, and compression ratio. So, how do the engines differentiate themselves on the assembly line? It’s all in the details.
The M-rated S63 engine distinguishes itself with a few adjustments that give it more capability and power. For example, it has specific oiling and cooling passages and cross-bolted main bearing caps that add rigidity and strength. In addition, its compressor wheels are larger in diameter, and the turbine wheels are designed to maximize efficiency. As a result, the S63 delivers incredible horsepower compared to its already powerful sibling.
There are also several key differences in how fuel is injected into the engines. The less powerful twin-turbo doesn’t need to work as hard, so its fuel-injection pressure is around 2,900 psi. While this is impressive and gives the engine plenty of power, it’s outshined by the M-rated engine that injects fuel at 5,000 psi. This higher pressure, along with the engine’s upgraded fuel injectors, fuel-pump piston, and plunger, gives the M TwinPower Turbo a clear advantage by increasing the speed of fuel injection or how fast fuel reaches the engine to create the explosions needed to power the vehicle.
Another significant difference between the engines is how the powerplants direct the exhaust. Although both engines use a hot-V design that sends the exhaust gasses to the center of the engine block, the process is different for each engine. While the N63 engine relies on traditional separate manifolds to collect the gasses from each bank of cylinders, the M-rated S63 uses unique crossover manifolds that collect gasses from both banks. The result is reduced recirculation of the exhaust-gas mixture and smoother turbine spooling.
Meet M xDrive All-Wheel Drive
When most people think of all-wheel drive, they usually only think of traction. However, BMW’s M xDrive all-wheel drive system is designed to do more. It’s a vital component in BMW’s sports cars and, alongside the M TwinPower Turbo engine, is responsible for producing some of the automaker’s most capable sports sedans. So how does it accomplish this feat?
As an on-demand and all-inclusive system, M xDrive offers various configurations to meet your driving needs. For example, its all-wheel drive modes distribute torque evenly to all four wheels, while the two-wheel drive mode sends all the power to the rear wheels. While the approach seems relatively simple, the system constantly works behind the scenes to determine the best distribution of power.
M xDrive continuously monitors road speed, the angle of the steering wheel, position of the accelerator pedal, yaw rate, front and rear axle slip, frictional coefficient, and longitudinal and transverse acceleration. With this data, M xDrive delivers your performance needs in every circumstance, especially when navigating curves. For example, when accelerating out of a corner, the system sends more torque to the front axle as it detects a decrease in lateral acceleration. In doing this, the system prevents understeer and allows you to drift gradually through a corner with complete control.
The Fastest Sports Cars in BMW History
What do the 2021 M5 Competition, 2022 M8 Competition, and 2022 M5 CS have in common? They all generate their power from the M TwinPower Turbo 4.4L V8 and rely on the M xDrive all-wheel drive system for enhanced performance. But how do the models differ in their delivery of power and capability?
2021 BMW M5 Competition
First released in the mid-1980s, the M5 is a staple in the BMW fleet, and models like the 2021 M5 Competition prove it only gets better with age. The 2021 M5 Competition relies on the S63 TwinPower Turbo V8 to deliver 617 hp and a launch from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds. This power is directly impacted by several adjustments BMW made to the M5 Competition for 2021.
BMW positioned the 2021 M5 Competition lower to the ground, improving its aerodynamics and fine tuning its chassis, suspension, and springs for enhanced sport-like handling. The automaker also moved the signature kidney grille lower into the restyled front apron and added larger air intakes on the side for improved airflow. Adding new dampers improved ride quality and handling, a change best experienced when switching out of Road or Sport and into Track mode.
2022 BMW M8 Competition
With its debut in 2019, the M8 Competition earned its place as the fastest sports car in BMW history. Although it lost its title in 2022, the M8 Competition still holds a coveted spot as one of the industry’s most responsive and engaging sports cars. So, what makes it incredible, even if it isn’t the fastest?
The M8 Competition relies on the 617 hp twin-turbocharged V8 engine for its power, but its unique design makes it faster than rivals like the M5 Competition. Its uniquely tuned chassis is based on BMW’s racing expertise and harmoniously engages every component of the powertrain and M xDrive all-wheel drive system with precision and agility. The result is an emotional, engaging, and remarkable experience in the driver’s seat.
While this dynamic is best experienced behind the wheel, the numbers are undoubtedly impressive. The powerplant and the M8 Competition’s lightweight and race-inspired design optimize its handling at any speed, reaching up to 189 mph. Its launch from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds is what dreams are made of, especially when considering its top speed is electronically governed.
2022 BMW M5 CS
BMW uprated the twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 engine to deliver 627 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. This power translates to immediate acceleration and handling, launching the revolutionary sports car from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and an electronically governed top speed of 190 mph. BMW also made several improvements to the M5 CS, shaving weight off the sports sedan by adding a carbon fiber hood, front splitter, rear splitter, rear diffuser, and mirror housings. In addition, by retuning the springs, improving the damper control, and adapting the chassis, BMW created a legendary speed demon.
The 2022 BMW M5 CS surprised everyone as the newest addition to the CS lineup. BMW made the M5 CS more exclusive to celebrate the expansion, limiting its global production run to 1,000 vehicles. So, what kind of driving experience did the lucky owners get?
Speed and Capability, Guaranteed
BMW has a stellar reputation for building vehicles that are capable, innovative, luxurious, and incredibly fun to drive. Part of this reputation is rooted in BMW’s twin-turbo engine design and its M xDrive all-wheel drive system. These components are responsible for powering some of the fastest cars in BMW history. They’re also truly remarkable, especially when you look at the finer details of their designs and how BMW alters the build of its models to accommodate every need for speed and the thrill of an emotional, dynamic, and engaging experience behind the wheel. That’s a level of expertise that’s hard to put a price on.