Legendary BMW engineer Paul Rosche died earlier this week aged 82.
An employee of BMW from 1957 to 1999, Rosche was instrumental in securing the brand the 1983 F1 Drivers’ World Championship as an engine supplier, the first time a turbocharged car had won.
His engineering expertise helped to extract close to 1400bhp from the boosted 1.5-litre four-cylinder M12 engine. If rumours are true, the blocks for this engine were taken from 100,000-mile-old road models, weathered in the rain for strengthening, and then fitted to the Brabham B52 and forced to handle 50psi of boost.
Perhaps his most famous achievement came with the McLaren F1. At the heart of Woking’s supercar was a naturally aspirated 6.1-litre BMW V12 engine, designed by Rosche and producing 627bhp and 479lb ft yet, as Andrew Frankel put it in the original Autocar road test, it was “docile enough to perform sweetly for the most inexperienced of drivers”.