Manhart Racing’s BMW M3 is an Engine Transplanted Tangerine Dream
With the current E92 BMW M3's time on the new car marketplace running out, you'd think most tuners would have already gotten what they could out of it and be looking toward the horizon for their next great canvas. However, the only generation of M3 to rely on V8 power (other than the controversial E46 M3 GTR of about a decade ago) continues to exhibit remarkable staying power with regard to the affections of the aftermarket.
But speaking of power, there's only so much you can do with that screaming 4.0L V8. Sure, you can increase the displacement and switch to forced induction, but considering BMW already makes a larger 4.4L twin turbo V8 (in both regular and M-ified form), why bother? Why indeed, asked the fine folks at Manhart Racing.
Established by Günter Manhart over a quarter century ago, Manhart Racing specializes in extracting even more performance out of BMW M models. And the firm’s newest creation – dubbed the MH3 V8 RS Clubsport – gets just about every drop of asphalt-burning capability out of the E92 M3, due in no small part to the fact it’s been treated to an engine transplant. The same 4.4L twin-turbo V8 that powers the X5 M and X6 M now resides under that bulging, vented carbon fiber hood. But instead of settling for the 555hp those vehicles make, the Manhart Menschen added stronger connecting rods and pistons, a larger intercooler and dialed up the boost to bump total output to 750hp and 671 lb.-ft of torque. All that muscle reaches the rear wheels through the X6 M’s 6-speed automatic (Manhart didn’t feel comfortable routing it through the stock M3’s 6-speed manual or 7-speed twin-clutch transmission.), and it exhales through a titanium exhaust system with a quartet of 3.15” tailpipes.
Naturally, Manhart Racing didn’t just rehab the drivetrain and call it “Done.” There’s a MOVIT brake system on each corner with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers out back, and 20” wheels (9” wide fronts, 12” wide rears) wearing high-performance Continental tires. The body gets treated to the aforementioned carbon fiber powerdome hood, plus a new front apron, fender flares, side skirts, rear diffuser, rear wing and decklid that are also made from carbon fiber. Inside, you’ll find goodies like a Wiechers roll cage, upholstered carbon fiber racing shells, sport steering wheel with illuminated switches and shift lights, and a cornucopia of carbon fiber trim.
This is all lovely and what have you, but what do all these upgrades do for the performance bottom line? Manhart Racing claims the MH3 V8 RS Clubsport will blast to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and max out at 217 mph. That’s crazy fast and, if we had to guess, crazy expensive. Actually, we do have to guess, since Manhart Racing hasn’t said what the bill for all these upgrades is. Then again, why be like all the other (fabulously wealthy) lemmings and buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini when you can make a BMW just as quick?
Source: Manhart Racing