• This F1-Powered BMW M5 Touring Was The Test Mule For The McLaren F1

This BMW M5 Touring is powered by a McLaren F1 V-12 and is the only one in the world

The McLaren F1 stole the show back in 1992, as it became the fastest production car in the world. Three decades later and it’s still the fastest production car with a normally-aspirated engine. But what started as an idea, discussed during a late flight, actually had more humble roots. Every car starts with a test mule and in the case of the McLaren F1, the test mule was a BMW E34 M5 Touring.

This F1-Powered BMW M5 Touring Was The Test Mule For The McLaren F1
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A while back, we talked about the only BMW 750iL Touring in the world and how it resurfaced after many years in obscurity. Now, we are sharing what we have learned about the only McLaren F1-powered BMW M5 Touring in existence. In a previous article, we talked about the existence of such BMW M5 Touring, but we now have a bit more details.

The new details come from the Collecting Cars Podcast, hosted by Top Gear presenter Chris Harris. In a more recent series, he invited David Clark – McLaren’s director of road and race cars, from 1994 to 1998.

The new details come from the Collecting Cars Podcast, hosted by Top Gear presenter, Chris Harris. In a more recent series, he invited David Clark – McLaren’s director of road and race cars, from 1994 to 1998. The test mule for the McLaren F1 development was a BMW E34 M5 Touring that featured the S70/2 V-12 engine, later found in the British hypercar.

This F1-Powered BMW M5 Touring Was The Test Mule For The McLaren F1
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Clark shared that this is the only M5 Touring in existence that features the 6.1-liter V-12 engine and has never been shown to the public. The BMW E34 M5 originally came with a 3.6-liter, normally-aspirated inline-six engine that made 311 horsepower and 265 pound-feet (360 Nm). For 1992, the M5 Touring also got the M-treatment. The engine displacement grew to 3.8 liters and now produced 340 horsepower and 295 pound-feet (400 Nm).

David Clark admitted that, while he was a big supporter of the McLaren F1 development, he wanted to do away with the BMW engine deal after the hypercar’s official launch. For this reason, out of the 350 agreed, only 106 engines were delivered to McLaren.

This F1-Powered BMW M5 Touring Was The Test Mule For The McLaren F1
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While no performance data is available, the 6.1-liter V-12 in the BMW M5 Touring test mule, which made 618 horsepower and 477 pound-feet (647 Nm) should allow for a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) sprint in around 4.0 seconds and a top speed in the neighborhood of 200 mph (322 km/h).

Sadly, we may never know as the one-off station wagon sits hidden away in a warehouse full of other prototypes. Despite that, we believe the BMW E34 M5 Touring V-12 deserves a place alongside the 750iL Touring as one of the greatest hot BMW grocery-getters.

Source: DriveTribe

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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