It’s not much of a surprise that many automotive brands often look to BMW for engines. The ‘M’ in “BMW” does stand for “Motor” after all. However, what is surprising is just how many other brands have borrowed BMW engines over the years and the sorts of cars that they powered. It’s not just your BMW-owned brand, like MINI or Rolls-Royce or occasional Morgan. Oh no. Bavarian engines have powered some very interesting and unique cars over the years and this new article from Top Gear shows off a bunch of them.
We all know of the famous ones; the McLaren F1, new Toyota Supra and Morgan Plus Eight, Plus Six and new Plus Four. However, there are many, many more and most of them are obscure cars from obscure brands. In addition, BMW owned a few car companies that many enthusiasts either never knew about or simply forgot.
For instance, back while much of the Rover Group existed, BMW bought the entire group of British-made cars and stuffed a small diesel engine under the hoof of a Rover 75 and it was actually a surprisingly good car because of it. Sure, Rover didn’t last much longer than that but BMW did pull the Land Rover and Range Rover brands out of the Rover Group and stuffed some engines on their SUVs.
There was also the very funky Bertone Freeclimber, which was a small off-roader based on a Daihatsu and was powered by a BMW engine and was very cool. Virtually no one knows about the Freeclimber but now you do and you’re better for it.
In the early ’70s, a small BMW diesel engine also powered the Lincoln Continental, which is hilarious. Can you imagine the reaction of American buyers in the ’70s that wanted the monstrous 7.3 liter V8 that normally came in the Continental but instead saw a relatively puny BMW turbo-diesel? Hilarious.
This article from Top Gear will learn you a thing or two about just how many funky cars were available with BMW engines over the years. Everything from high-priced exotics to incredible cheap, obscure cars sold only in tiny markets. Maybe there’s a reason for “Motor” being a big part of BMW’s name.[Source: Top Gear]