Manhart MH3 GTR takes BMW M3 to 650hp

Wonder if they'll do it for a Touring as well?

By Matt Bird / Monday, 8 August 2022 / Loading comments

Say what you want about how the new M3 and M4 look (you’ve had almost two years now, get on with it), but there hasn’t been much debate about how either drives. So composed and assured are both coupe and saloon that, even in two-wheel drive form, the G80 M3 and G82 M4 have felt like they could handle more than the standard 510hp and 479lb ft.  

So that’s exactly what Manhart has done. Though this MH3 GTR is a one-off like its previous M2- and M5-based GTRs, it would be a shock if there weren’t similar tuning packages offered in due course. The big numbers here are 650hp and 590lb ft, meaning 100hp more than even a CSL and M5-rivalling torque. It’s supercar power, really, with both Ferrari Roma (620hp) and Lamborghini Huracan STO (640hp) officially producing less.  

What’s perhaps more significant is that Manhart states these enormous gains have been achieved through nothing more than an exhaust and an ‘MHtronik’ control unit. Which would suggest there’s a reasonable amount of tuning headroom in the 3.0-litre, twin-turbo, ‘S58’ straight-six engine. And that this will be a very fast M3, even without any official numbers from Manhart.  

The modifications don’t stop there, as you can probably tell. The car here now runs on KW V4 coilover suspension, though a (presumably calmer) lowering kit with H&R springs and the standard dampers will be available to those Manhart cars that aren’t GTRs. Given how tough the standard car can be, the mildest change sounds wise. The Manhart Concave One wheels here are 20-inch at each corner where the standard M3/M4 has a staggered 19-/20-inch setup. Obviously there’s carbon everywhere, too, though it’s mostly acquired from the BMW Performance catalogue. And it wouldn’t be a Manhart-modified M car without the decal set… 

Inside has seen a significant change, too. Those who thought that the optional carbon seats in the M3 and M4 were bold haven’t seen anything yet! Manhart has fitted carbon Recaro Podiums to the front of the GTR – skeletal seats that look like they belong in an art museum as much as a BMW. Let’s hope they’re a little comfier than they look. Manhart describes the fitment as ‘an absolutely spectacular innovation’ – we won’t disagree with that. 

Though a price hasn’t been released for this one-off build, Manhart does already list individual parts for sale. Perhaps most notable of those is the MHtronik control unit, which on its own promises 635hp (M5 CS power) and 575lb ft without touching the exhaust. For €2,500, it’s easy to see the temptation…

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