BMW B57 Tuning

"All you need to know about performance parts and tuning the BMW B57 engine!"

This engine released in 2015 and  is part of BMW's modular engine family and is designed to deliver a balance of power, efficiency, and reduced emissions. It's used in various BMW models, and its key features include turbocharging and common rail direct fuel injection.

Adding the finest motorsport-inspired improvements to your BMW B57 will significantly improve your driving experience.

The engine came with various turbo options from a single unit, through the twin to a four or quad turbo setup, emphasizing how versatile this engine block is in handling decent amounts of power.

Check out our breakdown of the most significant changes to B57 tuning. It's a great engine for tuning, and with the right additions like tunes or remaps and turbo kits, you'll be able to get the most out of your BMW B57.

We'll take a look at the top B57 improvements and summarise them for you here at TorqueCars.

Because the B57s are such fun projects, we're glad to see that the number of aftermarket tweaks and performance components has risen.

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History, Power & Specs of the Engine

This Turbo diesel straight 6 was released in 2015 and belongs with the modular engine range from BMW, namely the B37 B47 diesels.


Single turbo engine

  • 195 kW (261 hp) at 4,000 rpm  (457 lbft) at 2,000–2,500 rpm


Twin Turbo engine

  • 235 kW (315 hp) at 4,000 rpm (502 lbft) at 1,750–2,250 rpm


Quad Turbo engine

  • 294 kW (394 hp) at 4,400 rpm  (561 lbft) at 2,000–3,000 rpm

Tuning the BMW B57 and best B57 performance parts.

Best B57 upgrades

The greatest B57 parts on an engine are as we have found the ones that give the best value for money.

We won't be swayed by popular B57 parts, they need to be cost effective.

B57 Performance Cams

There are a few local companies to me offering a performance camshaft upgrade or regrind on the B57, which works quite well if you are chasing the upper power gains on this great engine.

They typically cost around £1000 so are not cheap upgrades, but they do alter the open and close durations and lift of the valves so can be a great way to fine tune the power delivery.

Cams tend to come in profiles from fast road - a mild profile suitable to daily use with little to now low end rough idle, through performance upto a motorsport cam.

I'd be shocked if you'd have found a B57 Motorsport and race camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic especially on a B57 so we do not recommend them. The stock profile is quite well setup anyway so this mod is best reserved for the more adventurous projects out there.

The low end idle will be very lumpy and irregular, so something you would notice on a track when you drive in the upper third of the rpm band, but on roads, this is a serious issue and we've heard from lots of drivers lamenting their decision to add an extreme competition cam profile to their engine.

The map and fuelling also have a large bearing on the power gains you'll make.

Altering valve durations can alter the power band and on most engines the exhaust and intake durations do not need to match, although most cams and tuners use matched pairs there are some advantages to extending the intake or exhaust durations.

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Best mods for your B57

  1. Lighter flywheels - a lower mass flywheel will improve the engines ability to rev freely. But not always suitable for all B57 engines.
  2. Fast road Camshafts are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they are doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock cam for you.
  3. Intake and Exhaust Upgrades - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help release power after other mods by lessening the restriction.
  4. Flowing and porting the engine head - for larger gains, you will get better flow and make a more efficient engine if you do this to support your other mods.
  5. ECU Tunes - A Remapped B57 ECU provides the biggest gains in terms of cost, aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  6. Turbo upgrades - Adding a turbocharger is the most efficient approach to improve intake air supply, allowing you to combust more fuel and make power gains. It is one of the most challenging mods it offers big gains.

B57 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include:
Remaps/piggy back ECU, Sports exhaust header/manifold,  drilled & smoothed airbox, Intake manifolds, Panel air filters.

Typical stage 2 mods often include:
Sports catalyst & performance exhaust, Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, fuel pump upgrades, high flow fuel injectors, induction kit.

Typical stage 3 mods often include:
Competition cam, Adding or Upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Twin charging conversions, Engine balancing & blueprinting, Internal engine upgrades (head flowing porting/bigger valves), Crank and Piston upgrades to alter compression.

Because the B57s are such fun projects, we're glad to see that the number of aftermarket tweaks and performance components has risen.

Bear in mind that for larger power gains you'll probably need to upgrade to a 4 bar map sensor on the B57.

Your B57's ECU may be reprogrammed to take advantage of all the alterations you've made to the vehicle.

(In some cases, as the factory ECU is locked flashing is not an option, so an aftermarket ECU is a route to take, and many of these will outperform factory ECU's but make sure it has knock protection and that you get it setup properly.)

When it comes to turbocharged cars, a tune/remap often boosts output by 30 percent, while NA (naturally aspirated) engines gain power by 15 percent, although actual gains depend on the extent of your tuning and the state of your engine.

Boosting your B57's airflow is essential for any engine performance-tuning project.

Engine cylinders are able to draw in air via headers that transport the air from the filter.

B57 Headers may have a significant impact on fuel atomization via design and flow rate.

Despite the fact that certain manufacturers provide plenum chambers that have been well tuned, most mass-produced engines' plenum chambers could really use a performance boost.

If you're looking to get the most out of your vehicle, you should consider installing big valve kits, port work, and head flow.

B57 Turbo upgrades

The more air you can get into an engine, the more fuel it can burn and uprating the induction with a turbocharger upgrade makes excellent power gains.

If the engine has a turbocharger parts are more reliable and turbo engines will have better components.

However every engine has limitations on how much power it can handle.

We recommend you find these limits and install better quality crank and pistons to utilize the power and reach those higher power figures.

We see many people spending a loads on turbo charger upgrades on the B57 only to see the engine catastrophically fail soon after it's been finished.

A good option is the GTD2873VR unit, which can be supplied by Darkside developments. This is a hybrid unit which offers a good spool up rate thanks to the compressor wheel profile and the use of ball bearings.

Large capacity turbo chargers commonly suffer no power at low rpm, and low capacity turbo chargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the high rpm torque gains.

In recent times the range of turbo chargers is always moving on and we are seeing variable vane turbo chargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbo chargers divert the exhaust gases into two channels and flow these at differently angled vanes in the turbo. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

You'll commonly see there is a limitation in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on the B57 when considerably more air is being pulled into the engine.

We note 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting power at a much lower level or causing flat spots, hesitancy and rough running.

Intercooler upgrades on the B57

Intercooler mods are not going to add power, but they can prevent you losing power on builds used in a higher RPM range frequently.

A bigger intercooler would also help prevent heat soak on these engines by taking longer to warm up and offering superior cooling.

Inside a turbo, the cold intake charge and hot exhaust temperatures are close. This isn't ideal as heat transfers. Plus as the intake air is compressed, it gets much hotter, so the engine will benefit from an intercooler to help cool it down.

"Compressed air becomes heated, as anybody who has used a tire pump knows."

We were taught in chemistry and physics that cooler air has more oxygen. Why is this so? Gases contract at lower temperatures so there is more oxygen molecules inside the same volume of air. So each cylinder can draw in more oxygen as the air charge is more dense.

This is good for us tuning a B57 because higher oxygen means more power since it can burn more gas.

What does an intercooler do?

An intercooler cools the air charge before it enters the engine. Install an intercooler in front of the radiator to obtain plenty of cold air.

Then the air intake filter and turbo or supercharger would be fed into the automobile. A well-designed intercooler may increase your modifications' power by 5-10% and reduce heat absorption.

Don't intercoolers sap power?

Remember that you want to get as much air into the engine as possible, therefore the intercooler's internal core will get in the way. But big isn't always better!

TorqueCars expects a pressure decrease of .5-.9 psi for a 15PSi boost level. Some applications may lose up to 1.3 psi.

Don't blame the intercooler design for the whole loss of pressure; it's partially due to the decrease in temperature and you'll still get more power than you would without one.

In general, a larger intercooler provides more cooling. It should be carefully considered how much more drag this puts on the intake compared to what it will contribute to cooling.


The longer the air remains in the intercooler, the better. This reduces the intake temperature when the liquid evaporates utilizing the heat from the air that flows through the intercooler.

This makes the automobile run better. A more efficient intercooler adds 5–10% power over the stock one (assuming there was a restriction that depends on the way the engine has been tuned and setup).

This assumes a 35-40C temperature decrease. The greater the temperature differential between the intake and ambient, the greater the cooling effect.

Even the most efficient intercoolers grow heated over time. Long drives with high-boost heat up the intercooler.

In general, larger intercoolers can endure more heat before you suffer from heat soak.

B57 Fuelling

Don't overlook the need to look at the fuelling when you are increasing the bhp and torque - it makes the car more thirsty.

Fuel pressures are insanely high, as you would expect hitting around 2500 bar.

Tuned B57s can exceed this by some margin, so upgrading the fuel pressure sensor is a good idea, with some aftermarket options providing up to 1000 bar overhead on the stock setup.

Most tuners we speak with say to over specify your flow rate on the injectors and fuel pump to give you a little leeway in your project.

As a rule of thumb add 20% to the flow rate when specifying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and provides some spare capacity should the engine require more fuel.

B57 Exhaust Mods

You may need to increase your exhaust if the existing exhaust is creating a flow problem.

On most factory exhausts you'll find your flow rate is fine even on modest power gains, but when you start pushing up the power levels you will need to get a better flowing exhaust.

Sports exhausts can help balance the flow of gases through the engine.

But if your exhaust pipe is too large, ie: over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose a lot of the flow rate and end up sapping power and torque.

Typically exhaust restrictions can be traced to the catalysts installed, so adding a faster flowing sports alternative is the answer. This keeps the car road legal and will flow much better due to it's higher internal surface area and design, so has the added benefit of keeping your car road legal. The alternative decat should be considered an off road only mod, as removing a catalyst is illegal in most territories and regions for road registered cars..

Weak spots, Issues & problem areas on the B57

The B57 engines are generally reliable and solid units, as long as you follow the manufacturers service schedules, and use a good quality oil to ensure longevity. Few problems should happen as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Carbon build up in the head, particularly around the valves which will sap power or create flat spots, this is a larger issue on direct injection engines but should be looked out for on all engines. We have tips on removing carbon build up.

Some of our members have had issues with flat spots or glitches after applying mods and upgrades or tuning, this is not usually related to this engines design, so instead see our article on diagnosing flat spots and problems after tuning which should help you get the bottom of this issue.

Regular oil changes are vital on the B57, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your B57 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our B57 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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