There is a secret BMW M5 Touring with a McLaren F1 engine in it
We all know the story of how McLaren F1 smashed the speed record and became a legend. But what we are still learning is all the details of how the car came to be.
At a Collecting Cars podcast hosted by Top Gear presenter Chris Harris, David Clark, who was a director of McLaren road and race cars from 1994-1998, dropped the bomb!
The test mule for McLaren F1 engine was an E34 M5 Touring, and BMW is still keeping it hidden away in some secret bunker full of other prototypes. It has never been seen by the public, and unless we protest or something, it might just stay like that.
"It's an outrageous thing"
Clark also revealed that he drove it and in his words: "It's an outrageous thing!" Yeah? I bet!
A screaming V12 powered wagon with 627 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque makes the old 30-year-old BMW the ultimate wagon in existence! Although amazing, the regular E34 M5 just can't even compare with its puny 311 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.
Clark continued saying that he had nothing but love for the F1 program, but ultimately, it wasn't a cash-cow, and he wanted to get out of the BMW engine deal right after the F1 was launched. And so, out of the agreed 350 engines, only 106 found their way into the McLaren hypercar.
I wonder what car will be a test mule for Gordon's next hypercar, the T.50.
How does V12 E34 M5 compare today?
627hp is not exactly a hypercar territory anymore, and even fast saloons are breaking these numbers today. The latest BMW M5 Competition officially has 617 hp, but dyno-testing showed that the number is closer to 700hp.
Together with four-wheel drive and a blitz-fast gearbox, the new M5 gets to 60 mph in around 3 seconds. Again, faster than the F1 and surely than the boxy test mule.
But what would you rather have:
Modern, faster BMW M5?
Old, slower BMW M5 with a hypercar engine?