A piece of history that never fails to entertain me is that the most powerful engine to ever race in Formula 1 was a small BMW four-cylinder engine, one that happened to be turbocharged beyond the limits of sanity. Here is one such motor getting built using raw German skill. (This consists of un-ironic mustaches and beer bellies.)


This particular 1.5-liter M12/13 engine was put together for a Brabham BT52, which raced in 1983. It put out, in period, something around 600 horsepower in a turbo boost setting designed to last a full race and around 800 horsepower in a boost setting designed to last for a single qualifying lap. It would be another few years before BMW developed this motor to its ultimate turbo form, putting out well over 1,000 horsepower in the back of something like a 1986 Benetton B186.

Watch that turbo glow. Watch those mustaches beam with joy in the background.

The funny thing is that this engine started its development life as the M10, an almost economical little production car motor that debuted in 1961. It made almost 100 horsepower at the time.