We can only imagine the fun BMW M engineers get to have with all the toys at their disposal. Case in point: This Z3 prototype with a massive V12 transplanted into the engine bay.
It’s clear now that over the years BMW’s performance sub-divisions have cranked out some amazing prototypes that were never revealed to the public. It would probably had set some lofty expectations from automotive enthusiasts had BMW revealed some of these at the time of their creation, but years later they’re just something for us to fantasize over.
Produced from 1996 to 2002, the Z3 convertible was a sporty offering, with the M roadster featuring 315 hp thanks to the M3’s 3.2-liter, inline-six powerplant. But BMW M engineers were clearly testing the limits the convertible could push by shoehorning a V12 under the hood. Information to go along with the photos is scarce, but it appears that a 5.4-liter V12 with 322-hp and 361 lb-ft of torque was borrowed from the older 750i model for the experiment.
The German automaker did say that the study was built “years ago”, and it’s no surprise nothing ever came from it. It’s probably more humorous to think that a decade ago, 322-hp was impressive.
GALLERY: BMW V12 Powered Z3 Prototype