Glowing Header And Screaming Engine – An 850hp 1.5L 1983 Spec Formula One Engine On The Dyno

Glowing Header And Screaming Engine – An 850hp 1.5L 1983 Spec Formula One Engine On The Dyno

There’s a big stink in the F1 ranks these days about how the cars sound with the turbocharged V6 engines the series has mandated for 2014. In all honesty, we agree. The insane scream of the previous generation engines has been completely taken away and replaced with something that sounds like a UPS truck under load. That being said, we don’t really care because the cool stuff in F1 was happening in the 1980s when the engines kept getting smaller and factory teams kept boosting them harder to the point that rules makers had no where to go. The engine featured in this video is the mighty BMW M12 racing engine which measured out to 1.5L and made 850hp in qualifying tune. This stuff is bad ass to the 18th power.

In 1983 Nelson Piquet drove this engine in a Brabham chassis to the F1 title over Alain Prost by a scant three points. The engine made 850hp in qualifying tune up and made 650hp in race day tune up. This was all out of 1.5 liters without the aid of a lap top to tune it and live telemetry to monitor the engine. This was an era when racers reported back what they “felt” the car doing and crew chiefs acted accordingly. We’re not sure if there was a sound controversy in 1983 but the reality is that people were probably more concerned with stuff that mattered¬†mechanically back then. Today all we have to whine about is paint schemes and sounds, which is sad because have foregone so much of the technical knowledge that inspired fans for so many years.

This video rules because it shows one of the great racing engines of all time working on the dyno and then working in the car it made so famous. You may be a diehard V8 fan but when credit is due, you should give it and this BMW engine has earned all the credit it ever got.


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8 thoughts on “Glowing Header And Screaming Engine – An 850hp 1.5L 1983 Spec Formula One Engine On The Dyno

  1. GuitarSlinger

    Yeah ,,,, have to agree with John … Spec series masquerading as technology and innovation

    The ‘ new ‘ F1 motors sounding like a flagellating WWII DoodleBug on steroids at the brink of implosion

    Funny … a week ago another site posted the YouTube video of the last five minutes of an 80’s race where Arnoux and Villeneuve were going at it head to head … for Second place !! Damn if there wasn’t more excitement despite my knowing the outcome [ saw the race live ] in that five minutes than the entire 2013 F1 Season .. the 2014 Aussie race … and the movie ” Rush ” combined

    Lets face it … racing isn’t racing anymore . Spectacle and scripted drama trumping Sport … hands down .. unfortunately

    1. GuitarSlinger

      The video mentioned ;

      This .. is what F1 racing used to look like .Not the numbers crunching accountants posing as drivers ( a quote from Flavio Briatore ) its become today

      FYI – For me …. nothing beats the sound and fury of the V12’s of old .. puffers are all well and good … but V12’s are an automotive symphony on wheels

  2. 38P

    TURBO! It’s no V8 . . . but the ’80s F1 Turbo engines were the pinnacle (thus far) of the sport.

    Bring back the V8s . . . with TURBOS!

  3. 88ProStreetS10

    I agree, with the advent of technology creeping in – we need to RELAX the “rules” a bit so the mechanics (engineers) involved can use their bean to design stronger, more durable engines. Rules are too tight these days – in many forms of racing, drag racing included. Folks don’t realize that’s why nostalgia racing is making such a huge comeback in all areas. Rules aren’t so “high and tight” that the normal man can’t afford to go racing anymore. Lets go back in time in the rule book for one season, and sit back and watch the fun. xD

  4. 38P

    The amazing thing about the ’80s BMW Formula 1 turbo mill was that it was based on a reworked production engine design that the company first introduced in the early 1960s.

    Fans want to see good racing in cars they can identify with. . . That means production-based engines . . cars fabricated out of materials that don’t require baking them in giant autoclaves. . . and much less reliance on aerodynamic downforce.

    No way Ecclestone and the FOCA oligarchy will go for that, though.

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