M-AGICAL SIXES – BMW M2 Competition vs M340i xDrive
If you think the B58 is something special, wait ‘til you see the mighty S58
No conversation about powerful and strong motors is complete without mention of BMW’s 3.0-litre straight-six B58 motor. So much so, that it has been regarded by many as the modern day 2JZ.
Compared with its N55 predecessor, the B58 features a 20% increase in boost pressure, a closed-deck engine block design, an increase in compression ratio to 11.0:1 and a slight increase in displacement from 2,979cc to 2,998cc. The intercooler - a water-to-air design - is also integrated into the intake plenum, to reduce the volume of air between the turbocharger and the cylinders. As per the N55, the B58 also features a single twin-scroll turbo, direct fuel injection, VANOS (variable valve timing) and Valvetronic (variable valve lift).
Together with the upcoming M340i, it’s also the motor of choice to power BMW's new Z4 and Toyota’s new GR Supra, offering power outputs varying from 240kw all the way to 285kw. But how will the B58 compare when it comes up against a proper BMW M motor – the S55. Comparatively, the S55 – which powers the M2 Competition and M3/M4 – is a 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline-six that in this application, produces 302kw and is paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
While it isn’t totally even, Carwow has tried to even the field by putting the xDrive-equipped M340i on the damp side of the track for this epic drag race. It’s important to note, that the next-generation M3/M4 will use the new S58 motor – essentially an M-fied version of the B58. If this is the basis for that motor, we can be assured that the next M3/M4 is going to be truly mighty.
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