2011 BMW 535i: Dyno Tested


2011 BMW 535i

Sure enough, that's a 2011 BMW 535i on the MD Automotive Dynojet chassis dyno in Westminster, California.

BMW's continuing quest to dyno-proof each new model builds strength as its machines become more highly managed every model year. However, our crack team of dyno dorks was once again able to defeat the Bimmer's nervous electronic babysitters. And then, lit by a full array of idiot lights, we witnessed the new N55's full potential.

New N55? That's right, the 3.0-liter straight-6 which replaces the twin-turbo N54, features a single, twin-scroll turbo instead of two single-scroll turbos plumbed in parallel. It utilizes direct injection and BMW's Valvetronic technology which throttles the engine by manipulating valve lift. It's coupled to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. And together the engine and transmission are as anxious as BMW's legal counsel at a product liability trial. Every tickle of the throttle translates to an instant jump in response.

BMW rates the 2011 535i's engine at 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque at 1,200 rpm. Given the overachieving performance of recent turbocharged BMW engines on the dyno (like that of our long-term 750i), we were somewhat surprised to see only 277 hp and 283 lb-ft of torque from the new mill.

What's more, the torque curve seems more ponderous than previous twin-turbo N54 engines, wandering uncharacteristically up and down through the rev range before making the inevitable drop after 4,300 rpm. Perhaps you remember our bone-stock BMW 135i long-termer cranking out 285 hp and a platform of torque which peaked at 291 lb-ft.

Still, taking into account drivetrain loss, these numbers certainly verify the 300/300 claim.

2011 BMW 535i

2011 BMW 535i

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