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This Manhart BMW 850CSi Is a Radwood Rocket

by Nik Berg
20 May 2024 1 min read
This Manhart BMW 850CSi Is a Radwood Rocket

German tuning shop Manhart has built the 1990s M8 that BMW never managed.

A prototype of the most powerful E31 8-Series was developed by BMW with a six-litre, 640 bhp V12 squeezed under the hood but it never made it into production. Instead the most meaty 850CSi made 380 bhp.

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Now, over 30 years later, Manhart has replaced that car’s five-litre V12 with a similarly-sized but more potent V8 engine originally fitted to the E39 M5. Dropping four cylinders is no loss, with the S62B50 engine producing 420 bhp and weighing less than the 12-cylinder, to further aid performance. Manhart’s Performance Classic division has fettled the motor with its own stainless steel sports exhaust system and mated it to a six-speed manual transmission. The resulting restomod is known as the MH8 and just five are to built by the Wuppertal-based firm.

Manhart-Performance-E31-M8-16

While the 8-Series was always more of a GT Manhart has worked wonders on the suspension to give the big BMW sports car handling. There are shorter H&R springs and Bilstein B6 dampers, while the track is widened with Manhart’s own wheel spacers. The wheels are the tuners’ own Concave One diamond polished 20-inch items and the brakes are upgraded to 340 mm discs with four-piston calipers.

External modifications are relatively subtle, with the car featuring the front apron and rear bumper from the 850CSi plus M-spec mirrors, and the interior is stylishly re-upholstered in leather with Alcantara for the steering wheel, handbrake and gear-shift trim, as well as the headliner, sports seat shells and rear parcel shelf.

It took almost three years to restore and develop the MH8 and the first example is currently for sale at €149,000 (£128,000). If you want to raise eyebrows at RADwood it could be just the ticket.

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