S85B50 Engine Review: Problems and Specs

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BMW S85 engine is a V-shaped 10-cylinder piston engine with two overhead camshafts (DOHC), which replaced the S62 engine and was produced from 2005 to 2010 for the M5 (E60 / E61) and M6 (E63 / E64) and Wiesmann MF5. Power unit technology is based on the Williams F1 engine.

S85B50 cylinder blocks are made mainly of aluminum alloys using low pressure, except some special steels and they form an angle of 90 °. This angle is considered the best to balance the weight and reduce vibration, especially one that can affect the crankshaft.

Pistons for S85 are made of high-quality heat-resistant aluminum alloy and weighs 481.7 grams, including piston pins and rings. Rods with bearing shells weigh 623 grams.

In 2005, the first year that it was nominated, the S85B50 won four different International Engine of the Year awards in the following 4 categories:

  • International Engine of the Year, BMW 5.0 Litre V10 (M5, M6)
  • Best Performance Engine
  • Best New Engine
  • Best Above 4.0 Litre

In 2006 the S85B50 won several International Engine of the Year awards, winning in the following 3 categories:

  • International Engine of the Year, BMW 5.0 Litre V10 (M5, M6)
  • Best Performance Engine
  • Best Above 4.0 Litre

In 2007 the S85B50 won several International Engine of the Year awards, winning in the following 2 categories:

  • Best Performance Engine
  • Best Above 4.0 Litre

In 2008 the S85B50 won an International Engine of the Year award, winning in the following category:

  • Best Above 4.0 Litre

BMW S85 engine was replaced by the S63 engine.

BMW S85 specs

Manufacturer Dingolfing Plant
Also called BMW S85
Production 2005-2010
Cylinder block alloy Aluminum
Configuration V10
Valvetrain DOHC
4 valves per cylinder
Piston stroke, mm (inch) 75.2 (2.96)
Cylinder bore, mm (inch) 92 (3.62)
Compression ratio 12.0
Displacement 4999 cc (305.1 cu in)
Power output 373 kW (507 HP) at 7,750 rpm
Torque output 520 Nm (384 lb·ft) at 6,100 rpm
Redline 8,250
HP per liter 101.4
Fuel type Gasoline
Weight, kg (lbs) 240 (530)
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (mpg)
for E60 M5
22.7 (10)
10.2 (23)
14.8 (16)
Turbocharger Naturally aspirated
Oil consumption, L/1000 km
(qt. per miles)
up to 1.0
(1 qt. per 750 miles)
Recommended engine oil 10W-60
Engine oil capacity, L (qt.) 9.3 (9.8)
Oil change interval, km (miles) 5,000-10,000
Normal engine operating temperature, °C (F)
Engine lifespan, km (miles)
-Official information

200,000+ (120,000)
Tuning, HP
-Max HP
-No life span loss

BMW M5 E60 S85 V10 Sound



Engine Applications:

  • BMW M5 E60
  • BMW M6 E63

Are BMW M engines hand-built?


The “M” engines are indeed hand-built. This is why no M’s are produced in the US…

M and AMG are departments of their respective companies. Saleen, Alpina, Roush, etc. are actually other companies that take normal (Mustang GT, M3, etc.) into their shop at a given stage of production and modify it. The different levels of performance and upgrades determine when they pull the car off the normal production line. Alpina from the ground up would be not much more than a shell, little bits of interior and an engine block when Alpina takes over.

BMW S85 engine problems and reliability

First of all pay attention to the VANOS system. Always check the temperature of it and try not to overheat it.

Also, this engine has problems with premature wear of connecting rod bearings. The interval of its replacement is about 50,000 miles (80,000 km). So, summing up, the most common problems are:

  1. Connecting rod bearing wear
  2. Throttle body actuator failure

The E60 M5 S85 V10 Motor Better than Least Reliable Engines?

Dan Hoffman

Dan is a co-founder of Engineswork. He knows everything about internal combustion engines. Ask your questions in comments down below this article - he will be glad to help you anytime.

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