BMW 7 series Tuning

"Tuning guide to the most effective BMW 7 series modifications."

The 7 series is a brilliant tuning project to carry out. We see lots of DIY modders wasting money on their 7 series doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our articles to avoid wasting your money

The BMW 7 series make really good project cars and with carefully picked sports upgrades like a remap, turbo kits and camshafts you will positively increase your driving pleasure.

This pages aim is provide a guide to 7 series tuning and summarise the best modifications.

1st generation (E23 1977–1987)

  • 3.0–3.4 L M30 I6
  • 3.0–4.0 L M60 V8
  • 5.0 L M70 V12

2nd generation (E32 1986–1994)

  • 3.0–3.4 L M30 I6
  • 3.0–4.0 L M60 V8
  • 5.0 L M70 V12

3rd generation (E38 1994–2001)


  • 2.8 L M52 I6
  • 3.0–4.0 L M60  V8
  • 3.5–4.4 L M62 V8
  • 5.4 L M73 V12


  • 2.5 L M51 turbocharged I6
  • 2.9 L M57 turbocharged I6
  • 3.9 L M67 turbocharged V8

4th generation (E65/E66/E67/E68 2001–2008)



  • 3.0 L M57 I6 turbo
  • 3.9 – 4.4 L M67 V8 twin-turbo

5th generation (F01/F02/F03/F04 2008–2015)


  • 3.0 L N52 I6
  • 3.0 L N54 turbocharged I6
  • 3.0 L N55 turbocharged I6
  • 4.4 L twin-turbocharged N63 V8
  • 6.0 L twin-turbocharged N74 V12


  • 3.0 L N57 turbodiesel I6

6th generation (G11/G12 2015–present)


  • 2.0 L turbocharged B48 I4
  • 3.0 L turbocharged B58 I6
  • 4.4 L twin-turbocharged N63 V8
  • 6.6 L twin-turbocharged N74 V12

Plug-in hybrid:

  • 2.0 L turbocharged B48B20 I4 + Electric Motor
  • 3.0 L turbocharged B58B30 I6 + Electric Motor


  • 2.0 L turbo-diesel B47 I4
  • 3.0 L turbo-diesel B57 I6

Tuning tips and articles
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Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for people often first priority in your 7 series tuning project.

Setting some negative camber at the front and around 1 to 1.7 degrees of toe (in for better stability or out to improve cornering), will greatly improve your 7 series in handling and cornering.

We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 25mm - 40 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with uprated suspension.

For greatly enhanced stopping put better brake pads and match this with bigger discs.

Please note that motorsport pads can be noisier and will have to be hot before they are effective.

On your regular commute to work the brakes are only applied now and then, therefore will not stop you as well so source friction pads which don't need to be really hot.

Don't just look at the peak power figures, you need to see the whole torque curve when determining if a mod is right for you 7 series.

Following our guidance for tuning your 7 series you will create a practical scorching car that will embarrass bigger cars.

To be completely frank and honest, on the more modest engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Power mods.

These are the tuning upgrades are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the correct grade of tuning upgrades for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Suspension upgrade (drop 25mm - 40 mm.), Engine Tunes/Remapping, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch, Fast road cam.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Competition cam, Sports gearbox, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger).

You need to keep as much low end torque as you can and aim to get a wide power band rather than a narrow top end power spike.

In this article we shall give a limited introduction to the best mods for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance part.One of the best mechanical sports modifications you can do to your NA (naturally aspirated) engine is to fit a fast road camshaft .

The exhaust and intake durations play a major role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car impossible to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a performance chip for the best performance gains.

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after performance upgrades are done can usually be traced to timing or fuelling issues. To get sufficient fuel you may need to upgrade the injectors on your engine.

If you've uprated your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine.  Induction kits only help to boost performance if your cars air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most low power engines will see LITTLE LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for 7 series engines you should settle for a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Do not go with the widest exhaust you can buy this will reduce the exhaust flow rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Getting a professionally polished and ported head with larger valves can fully release the engines power. Your clutch can slip as you increase the power if it starts to fail and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 43%. Fit an upgraded clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission. The best mods in our experience for your 7 series are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

Turbo engines are just crying out to be Remapped. You will see large power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and large modifications for your money.

We've also come across some owners toying with twin charging applications and making some impressively high power hikes.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. Turbos are usually harder to add than a supercharger. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it harder to map.

It is easier to map a supercharger because the boost is directly proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels can help the brakes cool down and are generally less heavy than steel ones. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good directional tread pattern tire can really enhance your cars handling. We should point out that although they can look cool on the 7 series large alloys will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

For this reason aim to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the recommended OEM sizes. In all cases not going above 18 inches.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss 7 series options in more detail with our 7 series owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased BMW tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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