Embodying the pure definition of a sleeper, this BMW 3 Series (E36) is not what it looks like. Well, it is a third-generation model, but it’s hiding a significantly larger engine under its inconspicuous hood. While the 3er of the 1990s was available with a wide array of four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, this one with Hungarian plates packs V12 power from a 5.0-liter unit.

The nose-heavy sports sedan went up against another rear-wheel-drive machine that happened to have a 5.0-liter engine as well, namely the Ford Mustang GT in its previous generation iteration (S550). The drag race took place earlier this year in June, but it’s only now the video has been uploaded on YouTube. Footage shot at the Tokol Airport near Hungary’s capital Budapest shows the two cars dueling while taking part in the Lóerők Éjszakája 2022 event.

We’re not being told what sort of V12 engine lies under the bonnet, but it’s most likely the M70 that powered the original 8 Series Coupe as well as the 750i from the E32 era. The M70B50 made 295 horsepower (220 kilowatts) and 332 pound-feet (450 Newton-meters) of torque. For the sake of comparison, the E36 peaked with the Euro-spec M3 from 1995 with its S50B32 rated at 321 hp (293 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm).

Despite the engine transplant while carrying around significantly less weight, the 3 Series was still slower than the ‘Stang. America’s hugely popular pony car needed 13.2 seconds to complete the quarter mile while the BMW needed an extra half a second to get the job done. In addition, the Mustang GT had a higher trap speed of 173 km/h (107 mph) whereas the V12-powered E36 was doing 167 km/h (104 mph) when it crossed the finish line.

In 2022, BMW is no longer selling a V12 model since the M760i died with the previous-generation model. Consequently, you’ll have to step up to a Rolls-Royce for the twelve-cylinder masterpiece, which will be gradually phased out in the years to come as the ultra-luxury brand will become purely electric by 2030.

Source: Drag Car 4K / YouTube