In a little over two years, BMW has managed to reach a significant milestone in its production of the 507bhp V10 that powers the sporty M5 and M6. A few days ago, output passed 20,000 units at BMW’s special production line in Munich, and since its introduction the motor has already won numerous awards including seven "Engine of the Year” titles from across the globe.

Derived from BMW’s Formula 1 powerplant, the V10 shares the racing engine’s love of revs with red line coming in at a lofty 8250rpm. Peak power is 507hp (373kW) and maximum torque is 520Nm, which is enough for a 0-100km/h dash in under five seconds when residing in the potent M cars.

At 8,000 crankshaft rotations per minute, each of the ten pistons travels around 20 metres per second - almost as much as the pistons in a Formula 1 engine. It’s little surprise then that the engine features such as the torsionally stiff bedplate construction, weight-optimised full slipper pistons, single-section cylinder heads made of aluminium and the so-called cross-flow cooling concept which ensures an even temperature throughout the cylinder head.