COTD: Formula One's Turbo Era Edition

We live in an age of unparalleled technical refinement and capability. Still, we can count on our forbearers to draw up some absolutely unhinged machines. Disgruntled Titty Sprinkles SnapUndersteer understands this and has a little history lesson for us all.


When it comes to massively powerful, minute engines, the old BMW turbo F1 engines are about as wild as it gets, short of drag racing motors.

In today's discussion of big power, small weight cars, SnapUndersteer dropped some knowledge in the comments.

Interesting note is that the BMW F1 motor is based on the street M10 engine..........

Legend has it that BMW didn't use fresh blocks for F1. They actually took used street M10 blocks that had served already a host of miles (over 100k kilometers) and then used those to assemble the turbo F1 units.

Why? because they fucking could...and also theory suggested that an engine that old, it'd be sure free from casting defects and OK to take on abuse, having proven itself. It has also been rumored that the M10 blocks used were left in the rain and peed on by engineers/mechanics before becoming F1 motors. Golden Shower Baptism FTW

Then BMW took the M10 block and welded the wastegates shut on qualifying trim turbos and boosted the living hell out of the motor, to the tune of nearly 1HP/CC (note, this is 10x more specific output than the legendary street car number of 100HP/L) to the tune of 5 to 6 bar.


It appears that even those who do know their history are doomed to repeat it.


Photo Credit: BMW Historisches Archiv

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