M50 Engine: one of the Best Engines BMW Ever Made

I own a BMW E34 that has this Legendary engine, It’s not the most reliable, not the fastest either, but it is fun to work with and cool to drive.


2.0L150-150 hp140-140 lb-ft9.0-9.5 seconds130-135 mph

2.5L189-192 hp180-181 lb-ft7.5-8.0 seconds140-145 mph
M50 engine performance table

The M50 engine, manufactured by BMW, was part of their M50 series engines produced from 1990 to 1996. This inline-six engine was renowned for its smooth performance and reliability, often featured in various BMW models during that era. It boasted technical advancements, including double overhead camshafts, aluminum cylinder heads, and a sophisticated engine management system. The M50 engine played a pivotal role in BMW’s lineup, offering a balance of power, efficiency, and durability, contributing significantly to the brand’s reputation for producing high-performance vehicles.

BMW M50 Engine

Cars with M50 Engine

The BMW M50 engine was notably featured in several BMW models during its production period. Some of the cars that were equipped with the M50 engine include: BMW E34 and BMW E36

  1. BMW E36 320i
  2. BMW E36 325i
  3. BMW E34 520i
  4. BMW E34 525i

M50 Engine Tuning

Tuning the BMW M50 engine has been a popular choice among automotive enthusiasts seeking enhanced performance. Several aftermarket modifications and tuning options are available to elevate the engine’s power, responsiveness, and overall capabilities.

Some common tuning approaches for the BMW M50 engine include:

  1. Performance Chips or Engine Control Unit (ECU) Tuning: Upgrading the ECU or installing performance chips to optimize fuel and ignition settings for increased power output.
  2. Intake and Exhaust Upgrades: Upgrading the intake system (such as cold air intakes) and installing high-performance exhaust systems to enhance airflow, thereby boosting horsepower and torque.
  3. Forced Induction: Adding turbochargers or superchargers to increase air intake, allowing the engine to produce significantly higher power outputs.
  4. Upgraded Camshafts: Installing aftermarket camshafts to improve valve timing, resulting in better airflow and increased performance across the RPM range.
  5. Upgraded Fuel Systems: Upgrading fuel injectors, fuel pumps, or installing higher-flow systems to accommodate increased power demands.
  6. Performance Tuning Software: Using specialized software to fine-tune engine parameters for optimal performance gains while ensuring reliability and drivability.
  7. Suspension and Handling Modifications: Enhancing the suspension setup and upgrading handling components to complement the increased power for a balanced driving experience.

If you are interested you should read about Top 10 Porsche Cars for Collectors

M50 Engine


1. What vehicles were equipped with the BMW M50 engine?

The BMW M50 engine was featured in various models, including the BMW E36 320i and 325i, as well as the BMW E34 520i and 525i.

2. What are the common performance specs of the M50 engine variants?

The M50B20, a 2.0L variant, typically generated around 150 horsepower, while the M50B25, a 2.5L version, produced approximately 189-192 horsepower.

3. Are there popular tuning options available for the BMW M50 engine?

Yes, enthusiasts often opt for performance enhancements such as ECU tuning, intake and exhaust upgrades, forced induction, and upgraded camshafts to boost the engine’s power and responsiveness.

4. Can the BMW M50 engine be modified for increased performance?

Absolutely! With aftermarket modifications like performance chips, intake upgrades, forced induction, and other enhancements, the M50 engine can be tuned to deliver higher horsepower and torque.

5. What precautions should be taken when tuning the BMW M50 engine?

Tuning should be conducted by experienced professionals to ensure reliability and adherence to local regulations. It’s crucial to balance performance gains with maintaining the engine’s durability and drivability.

6. How can I ensure the reliability of a tuned BMW M50 engine?

Regular maintenance, following manufacturer guidelines, and using quality components during modifications are essential to maintain the reliability of a tuned M50 engine.

E36 Phone Case

Discover more from Car Community

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

Discover more from Car Community

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive for free.

Continue reading