Engine Of The Day: BMW M70 V12

Illustration for article titled Engine Of The Day: BMW M70 V12

We've only seen one V12 Engine Of The Day so far? Unacceptable! Let's take a look at an engine that you Project Car Hell masochists should have no problem obtaining cheap at the junkyard!


It used to be that the only cheap V12 you could find for your Hell Project was the good ol' Jaguar unit. Sure, that's just the ticket for a moderate power upgrade to your Austin-Healey 100, but now the cheap self-service junkyards are filling up with BMW E32s, as owners realize that there's no such thing as a cheap or minor repair for a top-of-the-line 7 series. The North America-market M70 put out 322 horsepower and 361 foot-pounds of torque in the '97 750iL and 850Ci, and it did it with such smoothness that even the most sensitive Ponzi-scheme mastermind wouldn't be irritated.


rb1971 TaycanTurboS+Defender+E9+Jolly

I just sold and 850i that I had for around 18 months. In that time *nothing* broke on the engine (or any other part of the car), except that one of the wires in the computer was corroded and started throwing weird SES/CEL codes (tough to diagnose, very easy to fix, didn't affect the driving). I'm sure if something did go wrong, it would be tough and expensive to fix, but compared to other comparable cars ($100k+/20 years old), a lot more expensive? A lot tougher? So you're right - this engine get a bad rap.

Also, re the 850, although lots of the parts are starting to be made out of unobtanium (I swapped some suspension parts just because there were only 12 left in the world at the time), since the engine was shared with the 750 there should be parts for that for years.

The M70 was strong, and the person I sold it to swapped out the diff for another model that fixed the fact that the longer gears in that car were basically useless south of 90MPH. And has, in the past year, also had no problems.