Video: BMW F2 M12 Engine Dyno Testing In Switzerland

The fine folks at Novidem Swiss AG perform a wide range of motorsport-related activities. These range from engineering services, to the development and manufacture of exhaust systems and supercharger kits, to engine building and calibrations for racing engines like the BMW F2 M12 engine seen here on their dyno.

The Bimmer F2 M12 is an iron-block, aluminum-headed, four-valve-per-cylinder, 2.0-liter high-RPM engine that features big intake and exhaust valves to maximize performance. It was an engineering marvel in its day; based on the same M10 engine which was found in the BMW 1500, over the years it became available in a variety of displacements. In its initial form, the engine made a whopping 80 horsepower at 5,700 rpm.

But Since it was designed to run at the 2.0-liter displacement, when a smaller bore was used, the engine provided immense strength capabilities. In fact, it was so strong that BMW used the platform when it entered Formula 1 competition during the 80s. In single-turbocharged 1.5-liter M12/M13 Formula One trim, the platform is said to have produced over 1,400 horsepower when designated as a qualifying engine running 80-plus (!) pounds of boost pressure. The race versions ran only 3.5 bar of boost pressure–still 51.45 psi–and made approximately 850 horsepower. Remember, this is from only 1.5-liters of displacement. With this powerplant on board, Nelson Piquet won the 1983 Formula One championship in the Brabham BT52 and secured BMW’s lone championship as an engine supplier in the racing category.


It’s amazing to us to realize that this diminutive engine platform forms the basis for one of–if not the–most powerful Formula One engine ever. And the base M10 platform also served as the derivative platform for BMW’s M31, S14, M30, M88/1, M88/3 and M13 engines. Although the F2 M12 engine in this dyno video is not turbocharged, it is without a doubt blasting the dyno with high-rpm BMW power, which offered total F2 supremacy in its day. Crank up the sound!

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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