BMW V12 LMR visor cam | Time For Coffee?

Remember the BMW V12 LMR? Despite a Le Mans victory back in 1999, its success is perhaps overshadowed. The first reason is that BMW had already powered a Le Mans winner in that decade โ€“ and a far less likely one, too โ€“ in the McLaren F1. 1999 was also the year that the Mercedes CLR did its loop-the-loop down the Mulsanne, somewhat dominating the collective memory of the weekend. And once into 2000 the Audi stream of victories began, and so much of what came before was forgotten.

But win the LMR did, and in some style. There hasnโ€™t been a BMW racing car that looked quite this dramatic before or since, kidney grilles and roundel on an extraordinary silhouette. The story was full of intrigue, too, with BMW and Williams investing a great deal for a project that would only compete in one 24 Hours โ€“ the two dedicating their efforts to the F1 programme once the LMR had achieved its victory.

Therefore the LMR is something of a cult hero, thanks to that look, its status and โ€“ letโ€™s be honest here โ€“ that savage V12. It was the last petrol car to win Le Mans with 12 cylinders, a feat that will only be achieved again once the Hypercar class is up and running. And what a 12 cylindersโ€ฆ

The S70/3 V12 made 590hp at 6,500rpm, which doesnโ€™t sound enormous nowadays, though the car itself weighed 900kg. Furthermore, as this video demonstrates, thatโ€™s more than enough power to make Laguna Seca look very, very small indeed.

As part of Monterey car week and the Rolex Motorsports reunion, the V12 LMR was driven again in anger by Bill Auberlen. (If you donโ€™t recall the name, heโ€™s the guy driving the F1 in this vid.) So thatโ€™s a legendary Le Mans car, one of the best tracks in the world, and a guy who really knows how to drive both โ€“ so itโ€™s well worth watching. The noise from the V12 is a little diluted by the wind compared to an F1, though it remains simply incredible to listen to. And just finally, if thereโ€™s any doubt about Auberlenโ€™s commitment, wait until the final corner of the last lapโ€ฆ


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Comments (6) Join the discussion on the forum

  • benzinbob 20 Aug 2019

    The Audi r10 tdi was the last v12 to win at Le Mans

  • Matt Bird 20 Aug 2019

    Balls. Sorry, you're right. We'll sort it now!

  • andyroo 20 Aug 2019

    When will race organisers realise that sound is such a huge part of the spectator experience? This thing sounds sensational...

  • Nerdherder 21 Aug 2019

    andyroo said:
    When will race organisers realise that sound is such a huge part of the spectator experience? This thing sounds sensational...
    Totally agreed. The Dallara SP1 looked and sounded savage at Spa Classic this year. Shame that these kind of cars or evolutions thereof are not the currently competing class any more. Might explain why I am starting to prefer events such as the Classic.

  • soad 21 Aug 2019

    Now, that sounds awesome!! earsmusic

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