• 7 times "Engine of the year" award for the BMW V10

    bmw V10

"Engine of the Year" from the BMW M5 and M6 is much in demand.
Munich. It has been on the market for just two years and its output of 507 bhp already ensures outstanding performance figures for 20,000 BMW M5 and M6. A few days ago, the 20,000th specimen of the high-performance engine was produced on the so-called Special Engine Line at the BMW plant in Munich. Since the start of serial production in 2005, the V10 has won the internationally renowned "Engine of the Year" award a total of seven times.

The engine boasts extraordinary qualities and specifications: after all, it was based on the 10-cylinder BMW Formula 1 engine which was the most powerful engine in the top discipline of motor racing until the rules were changed in 2006.

But the V10 of the BMW M5 and M6 not only has the same number of cylinders as the racing engine, it also shares the same high-speed concept. This principle, only mastered by a few automobile manufacturers, generates enormous thrust from high engine speeds and is characteristic of all high-performance naturally aspirated engines made by BMW M GmbH.

The technical specifications of this extraordinary engine: ten cylinders, a capacity of five litres, an output of 373 kilowatts or 507 bhp, a maximum torque of 520 Newton-metres and a maximum engine speed of 8250 rpm. Impressive on paper, these figures really come alive in practice: the engine accelerates the various BMW M models M5, M6 and M6 Convertible to 100 km/h in under 5 seconds.

For BMW M, the high-speed concept - more power from higher engine speeds - has traditionally been the preferred strategy. However, the V10 engine moves into an engine speed range which was previously regarded as out of the reach of serial production engines due to the enormous stress to the materials.

At 8,000 crankshaft rotations per minute, each of the ten pistons travels around 20 metres per second - almost as much as the pistons in a Formula 1 engine. But while long-term resilience is a relative factor in motor racing, an M engine has to last for the whole lifetime of the automobile - in every climate, in every road situation and with all driving styles.

The technical highlights of this engine, now celebrating an impressive landmark in its production lifetime, include a torsionally stiff bedplate construction, weight-optimised full slipper pistons, single-section cylinder heads made of aluminium and the so-called cross-flow cooling concept which ensures an even temperature throughout the cylinder head. This V10 M engine also has the variable camshaft control system double VANOS, port throttles as in motor racing and a system which - like a dry sump - always ensures a permanent oil supply to the engine even at high levels of transverse acceleration.

Finally, the engine management system for the V10 high-performance engine was developed by BMW M’s own engineers - an area in which BMW M occupies a leading position. The system’s modern 32-bit processors can process over 200 million individual operations per second: for each separate cylinder and firing cycle they calculate ignition timing, charge, injection quantity and timing.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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