BMW Performance E90

When the F01 BMW 7-Series was launched, you may have noticed that the N54B30 engine was upped from its original 306hp and 400Nm power output to new figures – 326hp at 5,800rpm and 450Nm between 1,500 to 4,500rpm. There’s more power and torque but peak torque band is now narrower, compared to the original state of tunes 1,300 to 5,000rpm range. Not that this is a real issue as I expect at least the original 400Nm in those sections of the torque curve, just that it climbs up further to a higher peak of 450Nm later and subsequently drops down earlier.

Anyway, there now is a way for 135i and 335i drivers to upgrade their 305hp engines to the new 326hp model now, via BMW Performance’s N54 Performance Power Kit upgrade. This upgrade is available for models with the 6-speed ZF auto as well as the Coupe and Convertible 3-Series models with the new 7-speed DCT dual clutch transmission. As a result, a BMW 335i with the BMW Performance Power Kit can accelerate to 100km/h by 0.2 seconds faster. It’s not just an ECU reflash as there are quite a few bits of modification needed including a second radiator, a new intake, and an uprated cooling fan. These are all to ensure the new state of tune is as reliable as the original.

No word on price yet though, and there are of course more powerful upgrades for the N54 engines by third party tuners such as Vishnu. Vishnu’s kit ups the peak torque by as much as 135Nm over the 2,000 to 4,000rpm range, resulting in 535Nm of torque together with 340 horsepower. However most of these kits don’t specify things such as additional radiators like the BMW kit does, and perhaps are not as extensively tested so there is always that nagging worry about how much it is all going to cost you when something finally goes under the extra pressure.

Not that the N54 cannot handle it of course, but you know Murphy’s law – Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong!

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