ETC
Paul Rosche 1934-2016
  • Paul Rosche 1934-2016
  • Image Credit: BMW
Paul Rosche with Nelson Piquet
  • Paul Rosche with Nelson Piquet
  • Image Credit: BMW
Paul Rosche with Nelson Piquet
  • Paul Rosche with Nelson Piquet
  • Image Credit: BMW
BMW E30 M3
  • BMW E30 M3
  • Image Credit: BMW
BMW M1
  • BMW M1
  • Image Credit: BMW
Just how brilliant was Paul Rosche? That question pairs inseparably with another: just how great was the four-cylinder BMW M12 engine? For BMW's first Formula One engine, Rosche took a production 1.5-liter M10 variant and turned it into a championship-winning F1 powerhouse, with sixteen valves, a turbocharger and electronic engine management giving the engine an initial 1982 power figure of 800 horsepower – raised to an incredible 1,100 by 1985, a real handful for Nelson Piquet to wrestle. Rosche was at one point asked just how much power could be wrung out of the little powerplant, and answered, "It must have been around 1,400 hp; we don't know for sure because the dyno didn't go beyond 1,280 hp." That is the stuff of legends.

Rosche, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 82, worked with BMW for over 40 years. Known as "Nocken-Paul", or Camshaft Paul for his racing camshaft know-how, there are real BMW and BMW Motorsport milestones in Rosche's history – like the European Touring Car championship-winning 2002 Turbo of 1969, the late 1970s M1 program, the S14 four-cylinder engine in the E30 M3 unveiled 30 years ago, the Le Mans-winning six-liter V12 of the 1990s, and the two-liter Formula 2 unit that secured BMW more than 150 race wins and six championships.

As BMW left Formula One racing in 1987, Rosche's position at the company was BMW M GmbH's Technical Managing Director until 1996. During his last years at the company, BMW re-entered Formula One with Williams in 1998. Rosche retired the following year from the position of BMW Motorsport Limited's Managing Director.

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