E36 BMW 3 Series V12 Sleeper Takes On Ford Mustang GT At The Drag Strip

Motorsport / Comments

With surprising results.

The battle between American and European sports cars has been raging for over a century, with both continents delivering some awe-inspiring machines.

America officially builds the world's most popular sports car, the Ford Mustang, but some might argue that European brands, such as BMW, build more capable vehicles.

In this drag race, we get to see a 5.0-liter V8 Mustang GT take on what seems to be a humble E36 BMW 3 Series. The E36 was introduced in 1990 and featured a range of four and six-cylinder engines, with the top dog being the M3. But the car in this video is certainly not of the M vintage, so how can it ever wish to beat a V8 Mustang? With a ridiculous engine swap, of course.

Drag Car 4K/YouTube

The car it goes up against is an S550 generation Ford Mustang GT. The GT nomenclature lets you know that this is a V8 model that packs a pretty serious punch.

The S550 generation is equipped with the highly capable Coyote V8 engine that produces up to 450 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission. Performance figures for the GT include a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.

In short, it's plenty fast.

Drag Car 4K/YouTube Drag Car 4K/YouTube

The Hungarian E36 BMW 3 Series featured in the video is one serious sleeper: it has done away with whatever four or six-cylinder engine that once lived under its hood and has replaced it with a V12 lump.

The exact details of what type of V12 is under the hood are unclear, but we suspect it's the legendary M70 unit used to power the E31 8 Series Coupe and E32 750i. Codenamed the M70B50, this engine produced 295 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque when it was factory-fresh, which seems extremely low by modern standards.

The E36 might be the lighter car, but it is seriously down on power and lacks the contemporary tech and quick-shifting 10-speed auto of the 'Stang.

Drag Car 4K/YouTube

The video footage was shot in June at the Tokol Airport near Hungary's capital, Budapest.

It shows the two cars lining up at the 2022 Loerok Ejszakaja drag racing event. The drag race is, unfortunately, a rather one-sided affair, with the modern car dominating the race. The Ford Mustang completes the standing quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds, while the BMW crosses the line half a second later.

The Mustang records a trap speed of 107 mph versus the Bimmer's 104 mph. Not bad at all, considering the lack of modern technology and the 155 hp deficit.

Since mid-2022, BMW no longer produces a V12 engine, making this video bittersweet for many BMW fans.

Drag Car 4K/YouTube

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