BMW’s M division has been long known for doing some pretty crazy things with its cars. We’ve ended up seeing most of their crazy experiments on the roadways in one form or another, but one experiment was so intense that it was axed before it ever saw the light of day. This program was to stuff a V-12 engine into the compact Z3 roadster, which saw production from 1996 through 2002.
This project was kept so tightly under wraps that apparently, BMW had forgotten all about it and just released images of this prototype on Monday. The V-12 stuffed between the Z3’s fenders is unknown for certain, but we can assume that it is the same plant that powered the much larger 750iL, which was a 5.4-liter that pumped out 325 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque.
While that’s a ton of power for such a little car, the 5.4-liter engine is far heavier than the 4- and 6-banger engines the Z3 came with. This likely caused some serious handling issues, causing M to scrap the ill-planned idea pretty quickly.
This failed project has now become public knowledge, as the images are plastered on BMW M’s Facebook page, though they don’t tell us exactly what their plans were for it.
Have a look for yourself and imagine how much fun this thing would be in a straight line. Then think about how scary it would be to have to attempt to take a sharp bend.
gallery: BMW Z3