BMW's S70/2 Engine Showcased in Jay Leno's Garage [Video]
It's the V12 6.1-liter unit that was installed inside the McLaren F1, and made history. From the beginning, the creator of the iconic supercar, Gordon Murray, wanted his car to be fitted with an engine from a company involved in Formula 1 and thus with access to F1 technology.
At first, Honda was approached but they refused, leaving McLaren to go to Isuzu, who wanted to join Formula 1 at the time. How disappointing it would have been to have an Isuzu engine on such a car. We're actually certain, it wouldn't have reached the legendary status this car has today, if BMW didn't step in.
Their magnificent engine had 627 HP and 650 Nm (480 lb-ft) of torque with the redline at 7500 RPM. Remember, this was 1992 and those number did not come by easy.
With this engine under the bonnet, the McLaren F1 achieved an impressive 550 HP per tone ratio or just 3.6 lb/HP. However, the engine used BMW's VANOS technology and that is one of its small flaws, because once every 20 years it has to be replaced.
When such an event takes place, it's good to keep a camera close and film the whole ordeal to share a piece of engineering art with the world. Luckily for us, Jay Leno knows what we like and published a video with the 12-cylinder beast on a bank, after it was taken out of his own McLaren F1. Enjoy!