The BRM P48 was a Formula One racing car raced in 1960. It was BRM's first rear-engined car. With rear-engined cars in the ascendancy, BRM hastily reworked the front-engined, now five-year-old P25. The car proved to be slow and unreliable, and was replaced by the P48/57 the following year.
Aside from the placement of the driver and engine, the P48 was mechanically the same as the outgoing P25. It featured the same, 2.5 liter straight-4 engine producing 275 horsepower. The P48 also featured a single brake disc at the rear mounted directly to the gearbox. The rear bodywork was cut off to aid cooling, which exposed the unlovingly nicknamed "bacon slicer" rear brake.
During 1960 Tony Rudd designed his Mark II version of the car, with a conventional 2 disc rear brake layout, simple rear wishbone suspension and a much lower profile. This resulted in a much better handling car, and for the 1961 Formula One season BRM based their chassis designs on the Mark II.
For 1960, BRM campaigned three P48s for Joakim Bonnier, Graham Hill, and Dan Gurney. The P48 debuted in the second race of the season, the Monaco Grand Prix. To everyone's surprise, including the team, all three cars finished, with Bonnier scoring points for fifth. However, it would prove to be a false hope, as each driver would only finish once more. At the Dutch Grand Prix, Hill would finish a respectable third behind the Coventry Climax engined Cooper and Lotus of Jack Brabham and Innes Ireland. Sadly, Gurney's rear brake failed on the entry to Zandvoort's first hairpin. Gurney's BRM rolled into the stands, killing one spectator and injuring several others. After the Zandvoort disaster, BRM scored just once more with Bonnier in the United States Grand Prix. BRM would finish the season with a disappointing 8 points.
The Mark II cars were raced in the 1961 Intercontinental Formula races.
- Nye, Doug (2003). BRM: The Saga of British Racing Motors: Rear-Engined Cars, 1960-79. Vol 2. Motor Racing Publications. ISBN 1-899870-00-8.