Automotive AM

BMW’s new S58 engine features cylinder head made with 3D printing

The new engine was designed for BMW's M Division vehicles

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German automotive manufacturer BMW is rolling out a new M straight-six engine, the BMW S58. The innovative engine, which will replace the S55 engine as the face of the M Division, integrates a number of exciting features including a cylinder head made from a 3D printed core.

Introduced in 2013, the S55 represented the return to a six-cylinder engine configuration for BMW’s M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe. Its successor, the new S58, continues this tradition while providing a range of technical updates and performance improvements. The new engine model will first be integrated into X3 M and X4 M models and will be built into the next generation of M3 and M4 vehicles. Eventually, the S58 will also be installed in BMW’s M2.

The S58 is based on the B58 engine, a modular, three-liter engine which has undergone a redesign to meet the performance requirements for BMW’s M Division as well as tighter emission requirements for automotive manufacturers.

BMW S58 engine

In terms of performance, the S58 is superior to its predecessor, as even its entry-level iteration delivers 480 PS (473 hp) and 600 Newton meters of torque (442 lb-ft). To put that into perspective, the entry-level engine is more powerful than the engines currently found in the M3 CS and M4 CS models.

A tuned up version of the S58, used in the X3 M and X4 M Competition models, delivers roughly 510 PS (503 hp), though BMW expects that the engine could exert even more power in new sportscar models in the M Division.

Most excitingly for us is the fact that the new engine boasts a cylinder head produced using 3D printing. According to BMW, additive manufacturing enabled its engineers to realize the lowest possible weight for the cylinder head while optimizing its geometry for thermal management (it integrates coolant channels into its structure).

BMW S58 engine

Other upgrades to the engine include an indirect intercooler, updated compressors, a new flow-optimized air intake system to reduce pressure losses and an electronically controlled wastegate. The engine also integrates three large radiators, an additional engine oil cooler and a separate transmission oil cooler to keep temperatures controlled, as well as a map-controlled oil pump with an added suction stage.

  • This article was modified on March 4, 2019 to reflect that the cylinder head in question was made from a 3D printed core, not directly 3D printed.
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  1. Apologies, I was the one who had misunderstood. Thank you for pointing this out, the article has been updated. It was not our intention to write a misleading title and I do agree that it is very different to 3D print the core for indirect production rather than the actual final part.

  2. If the core is the printed item, please don’t make the headline about a printed head. It’s misleading and not true.

      1. I’m glad if it made you smile, Davide. However, I was quite serious. A printed sand core is a pretty cool piece of work since it allows geometry which is not possible by using molded cores. I like that news a lot. The annoying part of the article or headline was when it said “Printed Head” which is an obvious falsity and needs to be called out.

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