There’s no replacement for displacement is how the saying always goes and as this crazed story proves, it’s not exactly a new sentiment.
After the end of World War 2 Germany wasn’t allowed to own any military aircrafts which meant there was a huge amount of planes and plane parts laying around idle. So some German locals decided that they could use one of the BMW V12 plane engines to craft a one-of-a-kind racecar. Sounds like a good idea right? Well that BMW V12 aircraft engine was a a 1925 46.0-litre 12-cylinder unit, to be precise. Not something you’d fit into your average race car, at all.
Understandably there were problems with this bespoke beast, the engine tipped the scales at 510 kg and was huge measuring 1.8 meters long, 1.1 meters tall and 0.87 meters wide. Locating a suitable chassis in post war Germany was difficult but the keen carmakers managed to get hold of a 1908 American LaFrance car that could take the engine’s size and weight. It then took the builders several years to complete the car, which was manufactured in a workshop belonging to the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim and was given the apt name – Brutus.
According to the museum, the engine puts out 500 horsepower at 1,500 rpm, but other sources claim that it can produce 750 hp at 1,700 rpm (but for only one minute). Its fuel consumption is about as bad as it comes with 1 litre being consumed for every kilometer it travels. For this reason Brutus has a huge fuel tank and is said to comfortably cruise at speeds of over 100 km/h at just 800 rpm. (more…)