BRM to build three 'new' V16 F1 cars

Published: 04 November 2020

► BRM builds three ‘new’ racing cars
► To be demonstrated in 2021
► Each car uses a V16 capable of 600hp

Britain’s first F1 team is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, and it’s marking the occasion by building three examples of one of its most innovative racing cars. British Racing Motors, or BRM intends to create a trio of fresh examples of the Type 15 Mk1 BRM V16 – and yes, V16 stands for sixteen cylinders.  The first car should be finished next year, and will fittingly go to John Owen, the son of the BRM team’s principal.  

A V16?

The Type 15 Mk1 uses a V16 block capable of 600hp at 12,000rpm, and all three will be reproduced by Hall and Hall, a joint venture from the Owen family and Rick Hall – a former BRM mechanic. Interestingly, the cars will be built not from pictures, but some 20,000 original drawings for the most accuracy possible – and the whole thing has been sanctioned by the Owen family. 

‘Without the 20,000 or so original technical drawings, we could not have contemplated such an ambitious project,’ said Nick Owen. ‘But incredibly, that is just the starting point, as these archives tell the story of staggering British innovation and engineering skill. It is hard to imagine just how complex a 16-cylinder engine is but what is clear is that the same care, attention and design detail went into every element of every BRM.’ 

The Type 1 was originally designed to compete against the strong Mercedes and Ferrari cars of the 1950s, though it now has an extra ten cylinders compared to its rivals’ contemporary cars. In fact, with a total of sixteen cylinders, the BRM has the sum of both a classic V10 F1 car from the 90s – as well as a modern-day V6 hybrid. 

Why three?

The Owen and Hall family discovered three unused chassis numbers, abandoned after a scenario familiar to modern F1 fans; a late rule change meant they were no longer eligible to race.  

The cars are already being crafted in Bourne, Lincolnshire and CAR understands the sound of a V16 should follow next year. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast