The Manhart is a rollercoaster ride and struggles to contain those charging horses in all of the first three gears. In the bends, though, it’s brilliant, thanks to a 3,420-pound curb weight accounted for by the carbon hood and trunk, lightweight doors and other weight saving measures.
Then there’s the fully adjustable KW coilover suspension and those lightweight Breyton wheels. The full transplant means the balance isn’t really affected either, so the car just dives into bends as you’d expect of an M3 shorn of 200 pounds of pure fat.
You’d have to have the Roundel at your core or all the money in the world to buy one, since it weighs in at $190,000. And there are plenty of other fast cars on the market for that kind of money. But for those that don’t have to look at price tags, Manhart has an intriguing proposition.
And it’s not hard to see where the pennies go. This is a monster job and when we finally pop the hood for a look at the engine we’re confronted with a mass of braided hoses and not a single cubic inch of open space. The X6 M’s engine and two vacuous radiators seem virtually wedged in there with a shoehorn. And the power bulge, bigger than a porpoise’s back, might look vaguely ridiculous on the outside, but Manhart needed every millimeter of manufactured space.
And it’s fair to say that Manhart doesn’t do overt cosmetic jobs; he doesn’t even make his own wheels or body kits. That could come in time, but for now the front splitter comes from AC Schnitzer, the wheels are from Breyton and Manhart branding is limited to a few accents in the cabin and the badge. Of course, as sure as night follows day, Manhart will eventually have his own wheels and kits, but for now he simply plunders the best from other tuners. He even uses G-Power superchargers and turbo kits, modifying them to his own specifications.
It might seem like a shorthand approach to tuning, but Manhart is out to build the fastest cars he possibly can and he looks past the names on the parts he uses to get the job done. And there is no doubt that he has.
Great things are coming from what looks like an automotive graveyard in a grey corner of Germany. And though this was the first visit to the fledgling firm, we already know it will not be the last.
Manhart Racing V8 R
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
4.4-liter V8 bi-turbo with Manhart Racing ECU, air intake, HJS catalytic converter, 90mm exhaust pipes
Independent wishbones with KW three-way adjustable coilovers
Six-piston calipers, 395mm ventilated discs (f), four-piston calipers, 345mm ventilated discs (r)
Wheels and Tires
Breyton Race GTS, 9x20 (f), 10.5x20 (r). Dunlop SP Sport Maxx, 255/30 (f), 305/25 (r)
Peak Power: 707 hp @ 6000 rpm
Peak Torque: 663 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
0-62 mph: 3.9 sec.
Top Speed: 210 mph