BMW E31 8 Series Coupe Finally Gets the Engine That It Deserves

BMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swap 8 photos
Photo: Manhart Performance
BMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swapBMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swapBMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swapBMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swapBMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swapBMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swapBMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swap
It took a tuning house three whole years to get this car ready. The BMW E31 8 Series Coupe has just become the ultimate driving machine, because it has finally received the engine that it should have received in the first place.
And we’ve got Manhart and its Classic Cars division to thank for it. They took a 1990 BMW E31 8 Series Coupe, in its 850i shape, and extracted the original 5.0-liter V12 M70 engine, which delivered 286 horsepower. They transplanted the S62B50 from the BMW E39 M5 in its place, with a similarly large capacity but four fewer cylinders.

The naturally aspirated power plant now pumps out 420 horsepower, all sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. Manhart came up with an equally dramatic sound thanks to the new stainless steels sports exhaust system.

The BMW E31, which was already one of the most desirable coupes of its era, now rides on Manhart Concave One double-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels, measuring 9x20 at the front and 10.5x20 inches at the rear, shod with Continental Sport Contact 7 tires of 255/30R20 and 295/25R20, respectively.

The German tuner also upgraded the braking system, coming up with four-piston fixed calipers and perforated 350-millimeter brake discs on the front axle.

BMW E31 8 Series Coupe with an engine swap
Photo: Manhart Performance
The BMW, which Manhart now calls MH8, is sitting closer to the pavement thanks to the H&R lowering springs in combination with Bilstein B6 shock absorbers. All underpinnings such as the axles, using, and bearings were upgraded or replaced.

The tuning house wanted the car to look more like a predator after all the performance modifications. That is exactly why they freshly painted it and equipped it with beefier front and rear skirt, donated by the 850 CSi.

Wind-sliding M exterior mirrors showed up on the sides, while an aerodynamic spoiler lip grew on the trunk lid. But with all the visual mods, Manhart was still able to deliver a car capable of keeping a low profile out there. Until that V8 sound kicks in, though.

Manhart could not keep away from the cabin of the coupe. The front and rear seats, the door and side panels, as well as the dashboard and center console, have been reupholstered in leather and Alcantara. They now sport contrasting applications and stitching.

Manhart did waste three years to build this BMW MH8, one of a very limited-run model, just to show off. The car, which only has 23,225 kilometers (14,431 miles) on the clock, is currently for sale in its home market, Germany. Whoever wants to drive it home can do it for 149,000 euros, which translates to $162,017. Only five such units will see the light of day, so you'd better hurry if you want some old-school feeling-cool kind of experience.

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