Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW for you and me) has a long history of producing brilliant engines. While BMW makes excellent V8s and 4-cylinders, the engine configuration it is best known for is the straight-6. After all, the first two generations of M5 had straight-6s, and thanks to them, we now have the super saloon.
BMW has been part of much collaboration and has owned shares of many car companies, resulting in some part-sharing and engine borrowing. This was due to the companies they collaborated with having financial difficulties and needed help to get out of their troubles, or simply that a company needed a new engine for their cars, but didn’t want to go through the hassle of developing a brand new one. In other cases – such as with the BMW X5 – BMW provided the money, and they got a platform out of the deal to produce their own car.
As a result, many cars which seem like they have nothing to do with BMW at all, feature BMW engines – some of which made quite odd combinations. Without further ado, here are 10 cars you probably didn’t know used BMW engines from the factory.
10 Land Rover Range Rover (3rd Gen)
In 1994, BMW bought Land Rover and sold it to Ford in 2000. During this short period, BMW utilized the Range Rover platform for their own use and built the first-generation BMW X5. BMW also aided in the design, engineering, and production of the third-generation Range Rover, which shares many BMW parts – including the V8 engine.
The BMW V8 engine in question was the M62 4.4-liter, producing 282 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Land Rover used the 4.4-liter V8 until 2005 when it was replaced with Jaguar’s 4.2-liter and 5.0-liter V8s – the latter of which is still used to this day.
9 Rover 75
The Rover 75 was an executive sedan produced by the British marque between 1999 and 2005. The 75 was aimed at competing against the BMW 3-Series and Audi A4 – a task which they succeeded in as the 75 sold pretty well, considering Rover was in financial trouble and in danger of being closed down.
There were a few engine options available for the 75, including a 1.8-liter turbo, a 2.5-liter V6, and even a 4.6-liter Ford V8! The engine which got the most praise; however, was a 2.0-liter turbo diesel unit supplied by BMW, producing 130 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The car and engine combination won multiple awards over the course of the car’s production life.
8 Morgan Plus Six
For anyone unfamiliar with them, Morgan is a small British automaker producing modern sports cars with classic styling. They make a number of models, with engines ranging from V-Twin motorcycle engines to big V8s. The preferred engines for Morgan automobiles include mostly BMW turbo-4s, turbo-6s, and naturally aspirated V8s.
The current Morgan Plus Six features classic 1930s styling, a folding soft-top roof, and the 3.0-liter turbocharged B58 straight-6 out of a BMW 840i. The engine produces the same 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque as in the BMW application, but the Morgan weighs substantially less – only 2,370 lbs. The Plus Six comes with the same 8-speed ZF automatic and is able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 4.2 seconds, on to a top speed of 166 mph. Pretty good for a car that looks like it is from the 1930s.
7 Land Rover Defender
The Land Rover Defender has a long history of being many people’s favorite off-roader. Although the name was changed on many occasions, the Defender can trace its origins back to 1948 with the Land Rover Series 1. The Defender as it is known today started production in 1983 as the 90 and 110 models, before being called the ‘Defender’ in 1990.
With the name change, the Defender received updates to various aspects of the car, the most notable being new engine choices, including a 2.8-liter straight-6 from BMW – out of the Z3 and other models with the ‘35i’ suffix. It produced almost 200 hp and was introduced after the discontinuation of the Defender V8. There is a rumor that the upcoming Defender SVR will use the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 from the M5, continuing the BMW-Land Rover tradition.
6 Lincoln Mk VII
The Lincoln Mk VII is a weird application of a BMW engine. With the ongoing oil issue of the late 1970s and into the 1980s, American automakers had to detune their engines to achieve better fuel economy and emissions. Some car manufacturers developed smaller engines, put turbochargers on existing ones, or – in the case of Oldsmobile – turned one of their gasoline V8s into a diesel.
Ford on the other hand, simply bought some engines from a trusted diesel manufacturer – in this case, BMW – and put it in their large personal luxury car. The 2.5-liter turbo diesel produced 115 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque, compared to the gasoline option, which was the 5.0-liter V8 producing 140 hp and 250 lb-ft – definitely one of the stranger engine and car combinations.
5 Bentley Arnage
The Arnage was built to replace the aging Mulsanne within Bentley’s luxury saloon lineup. BMW and the VW Group battled for ownership of Bentley and Rolls-Royce, with Bentley eventually becoming part of the VW Group and Rolls-Royce going to BMW. Many engines were examined for the Arnage, including Mercedes’ M119 V8 and GM’s Northstar.
However, when the Bentley Arnage was introduced in 1998, it featured a twin-turbocharged version of the M62 4.4-liter V8 found in the BMW E38 7-Series. The car produced 350 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, all swathed in luxurious leather and treated wood. The M62 was replaced in 2000 with an almost entirely new version of the Rolls-Royce–Bentley L-Series 6.75-liter turbocharged and twin-turbocharged V8.
4 Rolls-Royce Phantom
The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the über-luxurious marque’s top-of-the-line model and is the most elegant and show-off-ish car in the world. In the late 20th century, Rolls-Royce and Bentley were in financial trouble, resulting in them being bought by BMW and Volkswagen respectively. VW took the L-Series 6.75-liter V8 in the deal, leaving BMW to find a different power plant.
BMW introduced the seventh generation Phantom in 2003 and with it introduced a new twin-turbo 6.75-liter V12 – a slightly more refined version of the N73 6.0-liter V12. In the Phantom, the engine produced 454 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the 5,600 lb car from 0-62 mph in only 5.9 seconds.
3 Weizmann GT MF 5
Weismann is a lesser-known German sports car manufacturer, producing two-seat roadsters and sports coupés. The first model they produced was the MF 30, which was fitted with a normal BMW straight-6. The updated MF 3 model featured the S54 straight-6 from the E46 M3, with the GT MF 4 being a slightly larger version – which was first fitted with the 4.8-liter V8 from the BMW X5, and later the 4.0-liter V8 from the E92 M3.
The most ridiculous Weismann is the GT MF 5, the most powerful of the model range. It was fitted with the S85 5.0-liter V10, later followed by the S63 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. All models were fitted with automatic transmissions, bar the original MF 30. Weismann’s design almost follows the same styling as that of Morgan, just with a more modern touch.
2 Toyota Supra Mk5
By now, most petrolheads should know about the Toyota-BMW collaboration that is the Supra Mk5. The car shares much of its drivetrain with the BMW Z4, meaning the same B58 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-6, mated to the same 8-speed automatic transmission, similarly going to the rear wheels only. The 2.0-liter version of the Supra also shares the engine from the Z4 sDrive30i.
The interiors of the Supra and Z4 do differ, but the Toyota still shares many of the same interior pieces from BMW – the same iDrive infotainment system, same center dashboard, and the same exceptional build quality. The Supra and Z4 are even built on the same assembly line as they are so similar.
1 McLaren F1
Finally, we get to everyone’s favorite car, the McLaren F1. The car that dethroned the Ferrari F40 as the fastest production car in the world – a title it held for almost 15 years. Notable features of the McLaren F1 include the iconic three-seat layout, golden heat-shield in the engine compartment, and the BMW V12 in the middle.
The engine was a heavily modified version of the engine found in the E31 850CSi, called the S70. However, while the 850CSi was only a 5.6-liter and had a redline of 6,000 rpm, the S70/2 in the F1 was a 6.1-liter which revved to 8,300 rpm. The engine produced 620 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, less than a modern BMW M5, but only weighed 2,500 lbs, resulting in a car that could do 221 mph. It took an 8.0-liter quad-turbocharged W16 engine in the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 to finally beat the mighty McLaren F1.
The legendary supercar only grows as an icon among enthusiasts. See it in action on the track.
About The Author