Putting the largest engine available in the smallest car of the lineup is always a fun idea. That was the whole point of a collaboration between BMW and the German magazine Auto Zeitung. This is how the V12-powered Z3 was born back in 1999. The one-off roadster has been camera-shy ever since it was first revealed in 2012. Thankfully, we can now bring it back into the limelight thanks to fresh imagery.

We shot the high-powered convertible at the BMW Classic headquarters. Yes, the engineers from M managed to cram twelve cylinders underneath the hood of a tiny sports car that normally had six or even four. It was a monstrous 5.4-liter unit known internally as the “M73.” The V12 was found in cars such as the 7 Series E38, 8 Series E31, and the lesser-known Rolls-Royce Seraph. The 326 hp and 490 Nm (361 lb-ft) of torque it generated were sent to the rear axle via a six-speed manual gearbox from the 850Ci.

Back in the day, Auto Zeitung wrote the V12-powered Z3 did 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in five and a half seconds and topped out at 163 mph (263 km/h). Rumor has it the one-of-a-kind contraption weighed a substantial 1,400 kilograms (3,086 pounds). The weight distribution was greatly impacted by the engine transplant, making the car extremely nose-heavy.  The V12 was some 90 kg (nearly 200 pounds) heavier than the regular inline-six.

The beefier engine predictably took its toll on handling, with some saying the car was hard to control. Cooling was also an issue since the engine bay was never designed to accommodate a huge V12. We’ve heard that the car got too hot after driving it for a while and had to be cooled down occasionally. Another packaging issue involved the oil pan, which hung much lower and scraped the road.

Predictably, there were no plans to put the tail-happy Z3 into production. Heck, even BMW deemed it as “complete overkill.” That doesn’t make it any less cool, though.