A McLaren F1-engined BMW M5 wagon exists

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Words: Nile Bijoux
10 Jul 2019

In order to put the S70/2 V12 destined for the McLaren F1 through its paces, BMW slotted the epic engine into an E34 BMW M5 Touring. And, according to McLaren road director David Clark, BMW still has the car.

The 6.1-litre V12 was designed by engineer Paul Rosche for the F1 and BMW had a contract to build 350 of them. While the F1’s engine was loosely based on the existing S70 found in the E31 850CSi, the /2 variant featured a DOHC head, dual-VANOS variable valve timing, a dry sump oiling system and individual throttle bodies. Such changes meant more testing was required before supplying the engines to McLaren and an M5 wagon was chosen as a development mule.

On an episode of Chris Harris’ podcast, Collecting Cars, Clark revealed that BMW still has the car in its possession and that he’s driven it, calling it an “outrageous thing”. We wouldn’t disagree, given the engine itself made 461kW and 650Nm.

As for the whizzkid behind the F1, Gordon Murray, he is working on his own spiritual successor. Called the T.50, it will be, according to Murray, the greatest road car ever built. The creation will be powered by a Cosworth-fettled 3.9-litre V12 making more than 522kW at speed thanks to a ram air intake. It will spin up to 12,000rpm and send power rearward through a manual gearbox. Weight is expected to be around 980kg, meaning it would blow away in a gust if not for a fan underneath the car sucking it into the ground at speed. Yes, just like the Brabham BT46B fan car.

Murray will build 100 T.50s, each costing at least £2 million. Deliveries will start in 2022.

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