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Thread: N54, S54, S65 Power & Cost Comparison

              
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    I'm in a similar position to the OP, although at this point I'm still looking a year or two out, most likely. One thing I'd like to point out that Irish may have overlooked, is the cost of rebuilding these engines. If you're really on a budget, you have to consider the possibility of engine failures, when driving modified FI cars on a track. It seems to me there have been very few N54 failures, especially considering the power levels these things are making on stock bottom ends, but I'm a "plan for the worst" kind of guy.

    In this regard, I think Q4P has a very good point. 4g63's are pretty stout, and if there is an engine failure, they are relatively cheap to rebuild. Evos don't make good daily drivers because they're too rough and cheap, but they make great weekend/track cars.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by S62R Click here to enlarge
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    If you say so....

    I repair/build/rebuild S-engines to earn my living with,so what do I know...
    You can rebuild as many as you want it doesn't change the architecture of the motor.

    The S65 even with a liter of displacement penalty puts down more power stock. Better curve, better heads, better valvetrain, higher redline, more room to increase stroke, etc.

    With just a supercharger it hits numbers on stock internals the S62 can't.

    If you can give me a technical reason why the S62 is better I'd love to hear it.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    Again when considering cost the S65 is very much in fact the worst of the three options. Sure you can bolt up 20k worth of parts and get to 10s, I only know of 2 or 3 S65s that have done this (I could be wrong here). Thats great, but for the price of the mods alone you can buy a 135i that has about 50,000 km on it. Spend 6k + install and now your up to 500whp that will pull 95% of bolt on, supercharged S65 M3s. Ask Terry and Longboarder how their race went at ShiftSector.

    Now that said, I belive you are 100% correct that its the better platform for the road course track. The car itself really just is a gem with its incredible handling characteristics. If I did not constantly want to tinker or add power it would potentially be attractive just leaving it stock. The price tag is still steep and the insurance cost are no treat either.



    Great post, again the same issue with he S65. Great car, great motor, too costly (for now).
    $20k worth of parts? Why? A supercharger doesn't cost anywhere near that.

    Yes, only a small number of S65's have run 10's but clearly the power is there for it. More of them have run 10's than N54's though which had a tremendous head start.

    Ask Terry when he ran 10's.

    It's the better platform for the road course and the engine with the more potential for forced induction. The best forced induction option though is the S54.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    As promised, attached please find the updated chart with the Active Autowerke offerings for the S65 and S54. If the admins could add it to the bottom of the first post as well that would be much appreciated.

    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo.../chartv2-1.jpg
    It can be added but the chart is starting to get a bit busy.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    500 RWHP BMW Platform Comparisons

    I am in the hunt for a summer driver that will see a decent amount road course track time and the occasional drag strip run. While I am searching and deciding I have conducted a fun little exercise to compare a number of BMWs. I believe am going to land on one of 3 options:

    • N54 Powered E82 135i
    • S54 Powered E46 M3
    • S65 Powered E92 M3


    I love BMW’s I have owned 4 of them over the last 10 years and I will continue to drive these machines hopefully until I get stashed in an old folks home. My goals are as follows:

    • Car delivers a smooth, consistent 500rwhp
    • Car is durable and as reliable as possible for a modified vehicle
    • Car performs superbly on a road course and can handle its own on the strip or highway
    • Outlay the minimum amount of capital to achieve my goals


    There are a host of combinations of modifications for each of these platforms that will get you to the 500 rwhp mark. The S54 and S65 have a few more options while the N54 really only has one twin turbo option that gets you there. It is recognized that the landscape will change with each of these platforms (MAX-PSI turbo option on S54, Vargas turbo options on N54, etc.) but for the purposes of this comparison I am going to look at what is current and proven as of this date.

    I am also limiting the S54 to a supercharged option as if I am to go down this path, I would like to see the car retain its OEM power delivery characteristics as much as possible. This is also the reason why I am not adding the Vishnu Single Turbo Option to the N54.

    I feel that the current commercial turbo option available for the S54 platform is somewhat violent in its power delivery (I am not a good enough driver to handle this) while also being cost prohibitive for me at this time. Although, in a second comparison the $$ / HP is really quite attractive. Additionally, I would like to be emissions and OBDII compliant when testing time comes. It’s easy to swap out DPs on the N54 platform but going down the currently available turbo path on the S54 will not provide me with an easy means of achieving compliance. This is also a factor in why I have elected to only compare the SC option.

    Cost

    Cost really is a huge factor in my decision. I need to be fiscally responsible in my decision making as I am the sole provider for my family; therefore budget is the primary concern. The following table highlights what I believe to be the major costs for each of these platforms to get me to my goals (car costs come from autotrader, mod prices are taken from vendor websites and installation costs are a reasonable ball park estimate).

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im.../chart1h-1.jpg

    The following modifications were selected for each vehicle:
    • E82 135i: JB4 G5 ISO with Flash ($600), Meth Kit ($529), DCI ($95), Intercooler ($689), DPs ($379), RB Turbos ($3,799), Coilovers ($1,600), LSD ($1,295), Tires ($1,500), Clutch ($1200), installation ($3,000)
    • E46 M3: ESS VT2-550 SC Kit ($8,495), Evolve Tune ($800), Fabspeed Headers ($1000), Sub-frame reinforcement ($800), Tires ($1,500), Clutch ($1000), Installation ($3,000)
    • E92 M3: ESS VT2-625 SC Kit ($11,995), Tires ($1,500), Clutch ($1500), Installation ($2,000)


    I have tried to be as comprehensive as possible but it is recognized that some additional modifications (e.g. DSS axels) or maintenance costs associated with used vehicles may be required. However, for the purposes of this study this is a reasonable list of modifications that will achieve the goals that I have laid out. Additionally, because budget is a primary concern, l will likely be doing many of these modifications over time such that I can time phase my capital outlay.

    Power Delivery

    The following graph depicts the power delivery for each of these platforms with the identified modifications. The data used to compile this graph has been taken from vendor and enthusiast websites and dyno sheets. While this may not be a perfect graph, I would suggest its accuracy is reasonable based on the data points I have gathered:

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...whpgraph-1.jpg

    What is surprising to me is how close the performance of the ESS supercharged S54 and S65. The curves are virtually identical. The S65 really is underwhelming here in comparison to its predecessor when comparing 500rwhp kits and factoring in cost. Granted, with the S65 there are more SC kit options to get you up to 550rwhp and beyond on stock internals. In my opinion the cost benefit just is not there at the moment for the S65 as you will see in my second comparison.

    The N54 delivers power quickly but drops off with its inability to wind out beyond 6500 rpms. That said, the RB powered N54 really is a spectacle, and it is pretty evident that in a straight line at lower speeds (sub 125mph) the RB turbo N54 will outperform the M cars.

    You can draw your own conclusions about what you like (high revving vs. impatient torque monster) but there is a clear difference between how these motors deliver power. I must say, I really do miss my old N54 but I can’t help but be intrigued by the smooth, linear power delivery of the supercharged M cars. For road course purposes, the linear power of the M cars is extremely attractive not to mention their innate handling characteristics.

    The N54 really was a lot of fun, I would love to get some seat time in a blown S54 before I make a complete ‘fun’ comparison. I am happy not to be the ‘HP king of the streets’, I am really more concerned about all around drivability, uptime and road course fun factor. For this reason I am leaning toward the S54 as you have to bolt up a lot of hardware on the N54 to get to these numbers along with attempting to match the handling of an M car. There is something to be said about the simplicity of the supercharged option for the S54 M car. Time is on my side, so the decision process will likely evolve.

    Bigger Power Kit Comparison (N54, S54, S65)


    For some additional fun, I have put together the following comparison:

    • Stage II HPF 6766 Turbo S54 (Race + Meth)
    • MAX-PSI Turbo S54 (Race Gas)
    • ESS VT2-575 S54 (Pump Gas)
    • FFTEC/Vishnu Single Turbo N54 (E85 + Meth)
    • JB4 G5 ISO RB Turbo N54 (Race + Meth)
    • VT2-600 + X-Pipe + Exhaust S65 (95 Octane)


    The comparison will be exclusively about power on stock internals, so only modifications that add power are considered in the cost breakout. Stock RWHP numbers are taken from enthusiast websites and are widely recognized as reasonable standard stock power numbers although some deviations will occur.

    Cost / Horsepower Table


    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...chart2ny-1.jpg

    The costs listed above do not include taxes and installation, and prices are taken directly from vendor websites. Following is the mod list for each platform:

    • HPF S54: Stage II 6766 Turbo Kit
    • MAX-PSI S54: Max-PSI turbo kit (price is ballpark as communicated by MAX-PSI)
    • ESS S54: ESS VT2-575 Supercharger, Fabspeed Headers
    • Vishnu Single Turbo N54: VFF700 Single Turbo, PROcede Rev 3, PWM Meth Kit, ETS 7” Race Intercooler, AEM 3.5 Bar MAP Sensor, Trunk Mount Methanol Conversion Kit, Forge Bypass Valves, Quad Nozzle PWM Upgrade
    • BMS RB Turbo N54: JB4 G5 ISO with Flash, BMS Meth Kit, DCI, Intercooler, DPs, RB Turbos
    • ESS VT2-600 S65: ESS VT2-600 Superchager, Akrapovic Exhaust, Catless X-pipe


    Power Delivery


    The following graph depicts the power delivery for each of these platforms with the identified modifications above. The data used to compile this graph has been taken from vendor and enthusiast websites and dyno sheets. Because I do not have access to the raw data dyno files, the power numbers were manually captured at 500 rpm intervals so this approach has a tendency to smooth out the power curves (e.g. HPG Stage II curve). That said, for this purpose the presentation of this data is reasonable.

    http://www.bimmerboost.com/images/im...gerpower-1.jpg

    This has been a pretty interesting exercise to say the least. What stands out to me is how incredible the N54 is. In theory, if the Vishnu single turbo option is running without issue and has traction, it really should pull and pull well on all these other platforms. The BMS RB turbo option is also extremely impressive up to 5500 rpms but quickly drops off as the little turbos lose steam. At $26/HP and $24/HP respectively it’s hard to ignore the incredible performance value of this platform.

    We have all known for some time how impressive the HPF S54s are and this depiction only re-affirms this. The MAX-PSI turbo option is really quite attractive. Assuming the kit does indeed come in around $10k and there are multiple map options (pump, race) this will provide tremendous performance value. Overall, there is a lot of buyer value to be had on the S54 platform with any of the options presented.

    All of these platforms are incredible in their own right. This has been a lot of fun to compile and you can draw your own conclusions.
    This comparison is flawed and designed to prop up the N54.

    First of all, you limit the S54 to a supercharged option and the Max PSI entry level turbo. Put an HPF Stage 4 on the graph.

    Secondly, the s65 is limited to and ESS setup. Put a Gintani Stage 2+ on there and then be sure to update with a Gintani Stage 3+ setup.

    This graph only lists wheel hp and does not include gearing.

    You take the highest output Vishnu dyno that customers struggle to replicate but not the highest output S54 or S65 dynos. And people applaud the N54. Like I said, flawed and designed to prop up the N54.
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    ^i believe your missing the op's point of this thread. All the options he listed are based on money spent, relatively with the s65 being the most expensive. Sure you can get more power out of a e46 m3 and e9x m, but with way more $$
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
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    ^i believe your missing the op's point of this thread. All the options he listed are based on money spent, relatively with the s65 being the most expensive. Sure you can get more power out of a e46 m3 and e9x m, but with way more $$
    He chooses a MT N54 with numbers the Vishnu ST auto does not hit. You're telling me he isn't inflating the N54 on the graph?

    Of course the S65 is most expensive. It's the best and newest motor in the most expensive car. It isn't for people looking at N54's.
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    He's trying to stay at 500whp, for a budget, and a fun/best value factor. It's obvious it's cheapest to hit 500whp in the n54, butttttt is the n54 car going to suit all of his needs? That's why this is a good discussion. No one is arguing you can make sick power with the e46m3 and even the e9x m, but he's capping it at 500whp.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
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    It's obvious it's cheapest to hit 500whp in the n54
    Is it?

    I mean technically you can pick up a used E46 M3 with a used kit and undercut what he wrote tremendously. If the goal is cost for performance why are only brand new parts being taken into account? Why not factor in the S54's longer time on the market and aftermarket?
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    I agree with that...I only bought one performance part so far new for my n54 and that was my exhaust. Exhausts are hard to come by, but if you search and your patient you can find used parts within a 2-3 month window. I bought my AR 3 inch cat less dp's for $400 lol, they were so new it was amazing, kid had them on his car for a month.

    OP should def look into used parts, especially if he is building a project 500whp car.
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    I could have scoured the want ads for used parts but I elected, for ease of research, to go with new parts from vendor websites. I guess that is a flaw in my analysis. @bobS is bang on with his post, I am on a budget here and most certainly look at used parts when the time comes. I do appreciate the commentary Sticky and I love your site but sometimes your bias to the S65 gets the better of you.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
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    It can be added but the chart is starting to get a bit busy.

    Ya your right, its is getting a little busy. Ohh well, really wanted to rep Active in it because they do have some incredible products.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    I do appreciate the commentary Sticky and I love your site but sometimes your bias to the S65 gets the better of you.
    I don't have an S65 bias it is simply the better motor.

    It's a good article but it needs revisions IMO. I respect the effort you put into it.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    As promised, attached please find the updated chart with the Active Autowerke offerings for the S65 and S54. If the admins could add it to the bottom of the first post as well that would be much appreciated.

    http://www.benzboost.com/images/impo.../chartv2-1.jpg

    Very cool. Thank you for taking the time!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
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    350 whp stock is not underpowered. And it is a much better motor for road racing than any of the motors mentioned in this thread.
    yes it is. when you have krustangs and frc vettes pulling on you with I/T/E to your I/T/E for such a "new" performance car, its horrible.
    FUN? $#@! yea, competitive? $#@! NO

    my vote is still a blown E9x M3 for irish, as its way more fun than either, will hold its value longer, and not cost much more to have

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
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    350 whp stock is not underpowered. And it is a much better motor for road racing than any of the motors mentioned in this thread.
    yes it is. when you have krustangs and frc vettes pulling on you with I/T/E to your I/T/E for such a "new" performance car, its horrible.
    FUN? $#@! yea, competitive? $#@! NO

    my vote is still a blown E9x M3 for irish, as its way more fun than either, will hold its value longer, and not cost much more to have
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Irishace Click here to enlarge
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    Again when considering cost the S65 is very much in fact the worst of the three options. Sure you can bolt up 20k worth of parts and get to 10s, I only know of 2 or 3 S65s that have done this (I could be wrong here). Thats great, but for the price of the mods alone you can buy a 135i that has about 50,000 km on it. Spend 6k + install and now your up to 500whp that will pull 95% of bolt on, supercharged S65 M3s. Ask Terry and Longboarder how their race went at ShiftSector.
    I have to disagree. I have yet to meet an N54 that can hang with my low boosted M. I think you are excacerbating the price. as ive said, $8-10k for blower, $400 X pipe, done.. reliability favors the M, flexability favors the M as less aftermarket mods need to be done. resale of a n54 will never match an M car. please seek out a blown M and drive one.

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    this was amazing

    M drivers stop being butthurt, the graph shows what it shows.

    Bugatti drivers would laugh at these prices, but they are all relative.
    Last edited by Legionofboom; 01-12-2013 at 05:51 PM.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
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    yes it is. when you have krustangs and frc vettes pulling on you with I/T/E to your I/T/E for such a "new" performance car, its horrible.
    FUN? $#@! yea, competitive? $#@! NO

    my vote is still a blown E9x M3 for irish, as its way more fun than either, will hold its value longer, and not cost much more to have
    The M3 isn't about being a straightline monster. Bolt on Vettes pulled the E46 too, so what? Do you still not get the M3 isn't built to be a Vette rival or some bolt on mod platform?

    It's the best IN ITS CLASS. Pretty damn competitive I'd say.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90SoFlo Click here to enlarge
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    this was amazing

    M drivers stop being butthurt, the graph shows what it shows.

    Bugatti drivers would laugh at these prices, but they are all relative.
    Check out this graph, it shows what it shows:

    Click here to enlarge
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
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    The M3 isn't about being a straightline monster. Bolt on Vettes pulled the E46 too, so what? Do you still not get the M3 isn't built to be a Vette rival or some bolt on mod platform?

    It's the best IN ITS CLASS. Pretty damn competitive I'd say.
    It wasn't comparing vettes, it was comparing the performance lines in BMW
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
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    Check out this graph, it shows what it shows:

    Click here to enlarge
    Hey, that actually looks like the power and tq curves of the S65.
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    N54 is not a German 2JZ lol

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90SoFlo Click here to enlarge
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    It wasn't comparing vettes, it was comparing the performance lines in BMW
    And what about them?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
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    And what about them?
    Well from the new vs new price it seems the N54 is cheapest to reach a certain WHP.

    Thats really all it says. But its still interesting non the less.

    Im happy that I own a N54
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  24. #99
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Q4P Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Hey, that actually looks like the power and tq curves of the S65.
    Ya it actually does.
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by E90SoFlo Click here to enlarge
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Well from the new vs new price it seems the N54 is cheapest to reach a certain WHP.

    Thats really all it says. But its still interesting non the less.

    Im happy that I own a N54
    You cant get the s54 new.
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