Manhart Breaths New Life Into BMW E31 With High-Performance M5 Engine

by AutoExpert   |  20 May, 2024

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Manhart gives this vintage BMW E31 a second chance by restoring and fine-tuning five of them, all of which have a BMW M engine swap. Installing the S62 5.0-liter V8 engine from the E39 M5 is the crowning touch of Manhart's E31 project.

After some fine-tuning, Manhart claims that the engine now produces 414 horsepower, sent to the back wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. The newer V8 has 118 more horsepower than the old V12, despite having four fewer cylinders, which is more than even the top-of-the-line 850 CSi.

BMW E31

A stainless steel sports exhaust highlights the low-frequency rumble of the new powertrain, further enhancing the audio experience. Manhart strengthened the E31's chassis with stronger brakes, Bilstein B6 shocks, and H&R lowering springs to accommodate the engine change. New 20-inch alloy wheels lined up with the car's boxy fenders and filled the wheel wells.

BMW E31

With the exception of the much bigger wheels, the only external changes were the M-style mirrors, a rear spoiler lip, and the front and back skirts borrowed from the 850 CSi. As part of its three-year restoration process, the vehicle was also painted and the 2+2 inside reupholstered in leather and Alcantara.

BMW E31

Manhart also reconditioned and blasted the axles and replaced the rubbers and bearings. This first iteration you see here is available for €149,000 ($162,000). It is important to note that the modified E31 may get H license plates in Germany since it is considered a classic.

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