BMW M5 with McLaren F1 engine has been secretly stored for decades

  • The mighty 6.1-liter V-12 engine belongs in the McLaren F1
  • However, it had an unlikely prototype vehicle…
  • The BMW M5

Published on May 30, 2024 at 3:34 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on May 31, 2024 at 7:24 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

While the mighty 6.1-liter V-12 engine belongs in the McLaren F1, it had an unlikely prototype before it made its way to the supercar – the BMW M5.

The one-off BMW E34 M5 Touring wagon was built specifically for the Munich-based car manufacturer to test the powerful engine.

And BMW still has the unassuming 618-horsepower wagon in storage decades later in a secret stash of test vehicles.

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And it’s not the only secret car on their books with designs of the BMW i16 ‘secret supercar’ recently unveiled by a boss.

Former director of McLaren road and race cars from 1994-1998, David Clark, revealed the engine’s origin story several years ago on the Collecting Cars podcast.

He described it and its 479 pound-feet of torque as ‘outrageous’.

“When they tested the engine, it was in an M5 estate car,” exclaims Clark.

“I’ve driven it, it’s an outrageous thing.”

It’s thought to be one of BMW’s best-kept secrets as it’s never been revealed to the public – perhaps because the program wasn’t a huge financial success.

McLaren only built 106 cars to house the 350 engines BMW supplied.

Only 5 McLaren F1 LM cars were ever produced, and one big name bought 3 of them.

It was designed by automotive legend Gordon Murray to be lightweight, naturally aspirated, and seat the driver centrally in the cockpit.

Murray approached the late Paul Rosche, legendary engineer of BMW’s M division, to help build it.

Rosche’s final design was the BMW S70/2.

Murray also designed the unofficial successor to the McLaren F1.

The GMA T.50 was intended to be the greatest road car ever built.

With a manual gearbox-ed, the 650hp supercar is powered by a glorious-sounding Cosworth V12 engine.

It also weighs next to nothing at a total of 986kg and made its public debut at Goodwood in October 2021.

# Tags - BMW, Car News, Cars, F1, McLaren


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.