By now, the McLaren F1 has transcended past the point of merely being a fast car to the stuff of legends. Three seats. Over 600 horsepower. And a naturally aspirated V12 sourced from BMW. Of course, that engine needed to be tested, so BMW stuffed it into the only other logical place it should go: An E34 M5 wagon.
On the second episode of the Collecting Cars Podcast with Top Gear and /DRIVE on NBC Sports host Chris Harris and Edward Lovett, David Clark makes an appearance to chat about his time overseeing the McLaren F1 project at McLaren in the early ‘90s.
BMW, with the help of its engineer Paul Rosche, made 350 of the 6.1-liter powerhouses for the British automaker, though only 106 examples of the F1 were ever produced. This, apparently, was something Clark foresaw. He talks about how he had to negotiate the number of cars being built because he knew the F1 was going to be a tough sell.
“When they first tested the engine, it was in an M5 estate car. Which BMW still [has],” he added. Driving it was an “outrageous thing.”
Hold up! So you’re telling me that locked up in a BMW closet somewhere is a mad, V12-powered E34 M5 wagon? This is the unicorn to end all unicorns. All other wagons would bow down before their lord. This is a car that will never be topped. Never.
I’d almost want that over an F1. No one bats an eye when you tell them the F1 has a V12. They would if you pointed at your ‘90s BMW wagon.
You can listen to the episode in full here, or below on YouTube.
via Motor Authority