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    • Turbos are not new to Formula 1 - A look back at BMW's 1500+ horsepower M12/M13 turbo 80's F1 motor based on the production M10 four-cylinder

      If you are browsing this site you likely already are aware that Formula 1 is switching to turbocharged motors this year. This is not the first time F1 has ditched naturally aspirated motors for forced induction units as many fans fondly remember the 80's turbo era. Manufacturers experimented with supercharging and turbocharging throughout Formula 1's early history but it was not until the 80's that turbo motors really dominated F1.


      The most dominant engine of that era is arguably the BMW M12/M13 motor. What makes this engine special is not just the insane horsepower or championships it is that it was based on a production M10 four-cylinder iron block. This block first entered production in 1962 and would continue to be produced until the late 80's. Even after turbo motors were banned from F1 in 1989 the M10 block would still be used by various teams in various Motorsports to great success. That is what you call a legendary engine design and one of the many reasons BMW has earned the reputation as one of the world's best engine builders.

      The M12/M13 is the most powerful four-cylinder ever produced by BMW. How much peak power it actually hit we will never know as there was no accurate way to measure the output. Not to mention boost was pushed to whatever level teams thought they could get away with in qualifying so rumors of 1800+ horsepower in qualifying trim are not far from the truth. Whatever the power output actually was this little 1.5 liter saw outputs ranging from 740 horsepower to 1500+ throughout its years in Formula 1.

      The rpm achieved was 11,500. The new F1 motors for the 2014 season rev to 15,000 rpm. They also offer up a similar displacement at 1.6 liters although from six cylinders instead of four. They also are direct injected versus the port fuel injection of the 80's. Boost is limited to about 3.5 bar (50.7 psi) by the fuel flow rate for 2014 although there is not an official boost cap. The 80's M12/M13 saw over 5.5 BAR (79.7 psi) in qualifying and boost had to be capped at 4 BAR (58 psi) in 1987 due to fears power was getting out of control.


      How much horsepower the new Formula 1 motors put out will have to be seen but it is safe to say with regulations limiting boost, fuel amounts, and fuel flow rates the new engines will not even approach the power levels seen in the 80's. When BMW was allowed to run wild they made so much power the motors ended up being banned from Formula 1 competition. That is perhaps the greatest compliment to the M12/M13 engine's prowess as any.










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      This article was originally published in forum thread: Turbos are not new to Formula 1 - A look back at BMW's 1500+ horsepower M12/M13 turbo F1 motor based on the production M10 four-cylinder started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 42 Comments
      1. VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        VargasTurboTech -
        The only reason they stopped using them is because they were dominating everything and the power was just becoming to high for safety technology at the time. They got rid of them to slow the cars down and make them safer and more competitive. You basically had the choice of 3.0L NA or 1.5L FI. They thought giving them on 1.5 Liters they would keep the power down around 800 BHP, everyone laughed at the 1.5's at first. Then FI 1.5 motors started making 1200 HP back in the late 70's, early 80's. Yes a 1.5 liter motor putting down 1200 in a car weighing nothing, then everyone went to them things got out of hand, and they knew a NA motor could never make that kind of power, so they switched back.

        Decent article about it.

        http://www.autoevolution.com/news/tu...one-18108.html
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        The only reason they stopped using them is because they were dominating everything and the power was just becoming to high for safety technology at the time. They got rid of them to slow the cars down and make them safer and more competitive.
        Yep that's right and stated in the article.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Well in that time they had a new engine for every qualifying session, which was spread out over 2 days.
        With the engine regulations of current F1 these engines would have to be tuned down a lot to stay alive during at least 1500 km.
        Qualifying engines back then were only build to last 30km or so.
        And even then they blew up a lot.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
        Well in that time they had a new engine for every qualifying session, which was spread out over 2 days.
        With the engine regulations of current F1 these engines would have to be tuned down a lot to stay alive during at least 1500 km.
        Qualifying engines back then were only build to last 30km or so.
        And even then they blew up a lot.
        Definitely true. The new regulations will really limit output but kind of cool how they hit these insane numbers in the 80's with a production BMW block right?
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        what is the redline on one of these?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        what is the redline on one of these?
        Nobody reads...
      1. G0TB00ST?'s Avatar
        G0TB00ST? -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Nobody reads...
        i did read... the title
      1. mjmarovi's Avatar
        mjmarovi -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Definitely true. The new regulations will really limit output but kind of cool how they hit these insane numbers in the 80's with a production BMW block right?
        Crazy cool, this is actually something I've wondered several times and just never looked up. It would be so sweet to have even a "mild" F1 type motor in something, like an atom, or kit car, lotus, anything really.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G0TB00ST? Click here to enlarge
        what is the redline on one of these?
        Due to the use of regular valve springs these engines redlined at about 12000rpm
      1. img's Avatar
        img -
        Amazing motors !
      1. fastgti69's Avatar
        fastgti69 -
        So, when can i put this in my 335?
      1. Remonster's Avatar
        Remonster -
        The fuel they used back then was very different than what F1 cars currently burn. I just found out that the fuel modern F1 cars run is practically identical to what you can get at any regular pump. Fernando Alonso even drove a 2009 F1 car with its normal fuel and then again with regular Shell V Power and it was only 0.9 seconds slower around Fiorano on pump gas.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        I could go for a street legal F1 car.
      1. mjmarovi's Avatar
        mjmarovi -
        An Atom isn't far off if you just do the right motor build
      1. lulz_m3's Avatar
        lulz_m3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mjmarovi Click here to enlarge
        An Atom isn't far off if you just do the right motor build


        Like a turbo K20?Click here to enlarge
      1. mjmarovi's Avatar
        mjmarovi -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
        http://youtu.be/zUl-4BPLgfQ

        Like a turbo K20?Click here to enlarge
        So badass. So this is different than the 700whp one that's going to TX2k14? Great vid
      1. lulz_m3's Avatar
        lulz_m3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by mjmarovi Click here to enlarge
        So badass. So this is different than the 700whp one that's going to TX2k14? Great vid
        No idea, this guy posted the vid back in 2011, so i'm sure quite a lot of changed for him as well as other atom owners since then.
      1. StinkyM's Avatar
        StinkyM -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by lulz_m3 Click here to enlarge
        No idea, this guy posted the vid back in 2011, so i'm sure quite a lot of changed for him as well as other atom owners since then.
        Word around the camp fire is it's the same guy.
      1. The Ghost's Avatar
        The Ghost -
        I wonder if they'll use the same HPFP from the N54.
      1. munters's Avatar
        munters -
        I was a BMW mechanic at that time. The Munich M team then told us they used the engines from junk yards (the older the better) because the iron did not expand as much with heat anymore. or in other words new engines would not handled the power.