If you wanted proof of just how capable BMW’s inline-six engines are, take a look at the video below of what’s thought to be the fastest BMW-powered car on earth. Granted, it may be a dedicated drag car that will never be driven on the street, but the quarter mile times it delivers are extraordinary.
First things first. Powering the car is an inline-six dubbed the S38, which was built between 1986 and 1995. Only a handful of BMW models were ever powered by this engine, the most notable of which was the E34-generation M5 manufactured between 1988 and 1995.
In standard form, this engine displaced between 3.5-liters and 3.8-liters depending on configuration, and in the M5, pumped out 311 hp at 6900 rpm and 266 lb-ft (360 Nm) of torque at 4750 rpm. While we’re not sure if the South African racing outfit behind this drag racer has increased the engine’s capacity, we know that it uses a custom block and a number of other bespoke parts, including a huge turbocharger. Output figures have not been disclosed, but something upwards of 2500 hp is likely.
Eager to see just how quick the car was, the team shipped out the car on a boat to the United States to compete in the Import vs Domestic – World Cup Finals 2018 event, where it set some astonishing times. The car’s best run was a blistering 6.51-second quarter mile at 215 mph (346 km/h). Not bad for an engine that, in its basic form, dates back to the 1980s.