BMW N57 Tuning

"All you need to know about tuning the BMW N57 engine!"

Herein we outline options for your N57 tuning and highlight the premier modifications for your car. BMW N57 are popular engines and with the ultimate modified upgrades like a remap, turbo improvements and camshafts you will noticeably maximise your driving pleasure.

History of the Engine

The N57 is a turbocharged straight six and delivers power like a large V8 NASP in a steady linear manner.

201 hp @ 4000 (332 lb⋅ft) @ 1750-2500

242 hp @ 4000 (398 lb⋅ft) @ 1750-3000

  • 2008-2013 BMW 3 Series E90/E91/E92/E93 330d/330xd
  • 2010-2011 BMW 5 Series F10/F11 530d
  • 2009- BMW 5 Series GT F07 530d GT/530d xDrive GT
  • 2008-2012 BMW 7 Series F01/F02 730d/730Ld
  • 2010-2013 BMW X5 E70 xDrive30d
  • 2010-2014 BMW X6 E71 xDrive30d

254 hp @ 4000 (413 lb⋅ft) @ 1500-3000

  • 2011-2016 BMW 5 Series F10/F11 530d
  • 2011- BMW X3 F25 xDrive30d
  • 2012-2019 BMW 3 Series F30/F31 330d
  • 2012-2015 BMW 7 Series F01/F02 730d/730Ld

302 hp @ 4400  (443 lb⋅ft) @ 1500-2500

  • 2010-2011 BMW 5 Series F10/SF11 535d
  • 2009-2017 BMW 5 Series GT F07 535d GT/535d xDrive GT
  • 2009-2015 BMW 7 Series F01 740d/740d xDrive
  • 2010-2013 BMW X5 E70 xDrive40d
  • 2010-2014 BMW X6 E71 xDrive40d

309 hp @ 4400  (465 lb⋅ft) @ 1500-2500

  • 2011-2016 BMW 5 Series F10/F11 535d
  • 2011-2018 BMW 6 Series F12/F13 640d
  • 2011- BMW X3 F25 xDrive35d
  • 2013-2019 BMW 3 Series F30/F31 335d
  • 2014- BMW 4 Series F32/F33/F36 435d
  • 2014- BMW X4 F26 X4 xDrive35d
  • 2015- BMW X6 F16 X6 xDrive40d

376 hp @ 4000-4400  (546 lb⋅ft) @ 2000-3000

  • 2012-2017 BMW 5 Series F10/F11 M550d xDrive
  • 2012-2015 BMW 7 Series F01 750d xDrive
  • 2012-2015 BMW 7 Series F01 750Ld xDrive
  • 2012-2013 BMW X5 E70 M50d
  • 2012-2014 BMW X6 M50d

Tuning the BMW N57 and best N57 performance parts.

Best N57 tuning mods

Just because particular modifications are are common on N57 it doesn't mean it is good, we will concentrate) on the top modifications that will give your N57 the best value for money to power increase.

Altering your N57 cam will make a dramatic difference to the engine engines power. Choosing a higher performance cam profile raises the engines power accordingly.

Fast road cams normally push up the bhp and torque throughout the rev band, you could drop a little bottom end bhp but the top end will be higher.

Race cams, push up the top end band but as a result the car will not idle smoothly and low end power nearly always suffers.

In a car used daily should ideally to optimize your power band to your driving style.

I'd never find a N57 Motorsport camshaft is a pleasure to live with when driving in heavy traffic.

Different N57 engines respond better to extreme cam durations so view each engine as unique.

The ECU mapping and fuel pump and injectors also will say much on the power gains you'll achieve.

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.

Stage 1 mods: Remaps/piggy back ECU, Panel air filters, Drilled & smoothed airbox, Intake headers, Sports exhaust manifold, Fast road camshaft.

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

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

The N57 power plant respond well to upgrades and we're pleased to see that there are quite a few choices of parts and performance parts about.

Remaps allows a tuner to to establish the full potential of all the tuning parts you've fitted to your N57.

It will usually give around 30% more power on turbocharged vehicles and you can expect to see around 15% on NASP engines, but the end result usually depend much on the tuning parts you've carried out and the condition of your engine.

It is the main goal to any engine performance tuning task to pull air and fuel into each cylinder

Intake headers transmit the air from the intake filter and allow it to be fed into the engine and mixed with fuel.

Structure and flow rate of the Intake can make a noticeable improvement to fuel atomisation on the N57.

We often see intake headers are begging for aftermarket parts, although some makers provide fairly well optimized intake headers.

Fitting big valve kits, getting port matching and head flowing will also increase bhp, this will raise potential for raising the bhp increase on other parts.

Turbo upgrades

NASP engines need quite a lot of work when you add a turbo, so we have a separate guide to help you take into account the pros and cons of going this route on your N57

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

If your car has forced induction parts are going to net you a larger power gain and you will discover turbo engines are built with strengthened components.

There are tuning limits for every engine, with some being over specified and some only able to handle stock power

Discover these limitations and fit forged components to handle the power.

We see many people spending a loads on turbocharger upgrades on the N57 only to experience the car throw a rod just after it's first rolling road session.

Big upgraded turbo chargers commonly suffer a bottom end lag, and smaller turbo chargers spool up much more quickly but do not have the high rpm torque gains.

We are pleased that the range of turbochargers is always developing and we are seeing variable vane turbochargers, permitting the vane profile is altered according to speed to lower lag and increase top end performance.

Twin scroll turbochargers divert the exhaust gases into a couple of channels and feed these at differently designed vanes in the turbo. They also increase the scavenging effect of the engine.

It is not unusual that there's a limitation in the air flow sensor MAP/MAF/AFM on these engines when a lot more air is being pulled into the engine.

We see 4 bar air sensors coping with quite large power gains, whereas the OEM air sensor was restricting power at a much lower level.

Adding a supercharger or additional turbo will make large bhp gains, although harder to get working. We have this feature on twinchargers if you want to read more.


When you improve the power you will need to look at to the fuel system.

More power needs more fuel. Don't forget to be generous with your injector capacity.

The rule of thumb is to add 20% to the flow rate when buying an injector, which takes into account injector deterioration and gives a bit of spare capacity should the engine need more fuel.

We think this one is common sense, but you'll need to match your fuel injector to the type of fuel your car uses as well.


You may need to boost your exhaust if the existing exhaust is actually causing a restriction in flow.

On most factory exhausts you'll see the flow rate is ok 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 equal out the flow of air through the engine.

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

Typically exhaust restrictions can be traced to the emissions filters installed, so adding a faster flowing sports alternative will help avoid this restriction.

Weak spots Issues & problem areas on the N57

The N57 engines are generally reliable and solid as long as they are regularly serviced and maintained.

Regular oil changes are vital on the N57, especially when tuned and will help extend the life and reliability of the engine.

For more information on Tuning your N57 engine please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss tuning options in more detail with our tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which upgrades work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these N57 articles which are continually updated.

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