To upgrade the M model performance further, BMW M has created a brand-new engine, called the S54 for the 2001 M Coupe. For the first time, the same unit powers both European and U.S. models. It is essentially the same engine that powers the new M3 models, except that snug compartment dimensions dictate somewhat more restrictive intake and exhaust systems. The S54 engine delivers 315 hp and 251 lb ft. of torque, fully 75 hp and 15 lb-ft. more than the previous engine’s output.
Feature-by-feature, the new cylinder head (of aluminum as before) departs dramatically from the previous head, becoming more like those of other BMW M engines. The previous U.S. engine had VANOS 2 variable valve timing on its intake valves only: a 2-stagesystem, with one timing setting for low, one for high engine speeds. The new engine has stepless Double VANOS, which varies valve timing on the intake andexhaust camshafts without the step of the 2-stage system. This varies timing over a wider range and contributes strongly to the engine’s high power output.
Along with the new engine comes a variety of detail updates to the M Coupe. One is the Tire Pressure Monitoring system, which alerts the driver to any loss of tire pressure via an indicator in the instrument cluster. With this addition to the M roadster and coupe, the system is nowstandard on all M Cars.