I really think it is now time the S14 engine joined the list of great Motorsport engines of all time, alongside the Cosworth DFV, the BDA and the BMW M12.
BMW required a compact, lightweight 4 cylinder engine to homologate for the E30 3 series. The true DNA of the S14 engine lies in the already tried and tested 6 cylinder M88 engine seen in the M1, M5 and M635 CSI. It really does resemble an M88 engine with two cylinders removed.
Not just a fantastic engine to have under the bonnet of either your road car or your race car, but also a lovely unit to work on in the workshop.
A beautifully engineered 2.3 litre, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, twin cam, running butterfly housings (slide throttle in DTM spec) with Bosch Motronic.
This amazing little engine very quickly became a thing of legend. With multiple race and championship wins in the front of the M3 in DTM, ETCC, Group A, Group N, race, rally and even International hill climbing. When the E36 318is went into the international arena in 1992 as a Super-Tourer, it was the now 7 years old S14 engine in 2 litre form that was used to propel it to even more success.
The success of this engine in motorsport was not just the compactness leading to a perfectly balanced chassis, but also its incredible power outputs achieved in each formula, its fuel efficiency, and the incredibly high level of engineering that lead to previously unseen levels of race reliability. Anybody running an S14 engine in their race car was the envy of the rest of the grid.
During its production years, the S14 engine evolved many times for homologation purposes. Capacity ranged from 2 - 2.5 litre and power ranged from 192 bhp – 380bhp in the final 2.5 Litre DTM spec sprint engines.
We salute the S14 and place her firmly on the podium alongside the DFV, BDA and M12 as game changing engines from their era.