It’s fair to say the current bad boys among family-toting station wagons are Audi’s ballistic RS6 and Mercedes-Benz’s C63 AMG Estate. BMW, for some reason, refuses to make a tail-gated version of its V8-powered M3 (coupe, convertible or sedan are the only choices you get).
Well, problem solved, as German tweaker Manhart Racing has conjured up a fire-breathing M3 wagon, but rather than just making do with the standard M3’s 309kW V8, they’ve shoehorned in a 5.0-litre V10 pilfered from an M5.
And it’s not just the bogger V10 either, as the Manhart boffins have optimised the electronics and fitted an HJS stainless-steel four-pipe exhaust system with two 200-cell racing catalytic convertors.
Result? A titanic 404kW power output, channelled to the rear wheels via a seven-speed SMG gearbox (also borrowed from the M5) and 100 per cent limited-slip differential.
Manhart quotes a 0-100km/h split of 4.3sec (half a second quicker than an M3 Coupe), and an unrestricted top speed of 324km/h.
Given its straight-line stonk, the suspension/brakes have obviously come in for a working-over, and mods in this department include tunable Bilstein PSS10 coilovers and a Stoptech Sport Trophy Kit braking system with grooved 380mm discs (with six callipers) at the front and 355mm discs (with four callipers) at the rear.
Of course, no high-po special is complete without its fair share of cosmetic/aero tweaks, and these include an M3-sourced front apron, front side panels, side skirts and, of course, the characteristic powerdome bonnet.
However, Manhart designed their own M3-style rear apron and widened the rear wheel-arches to fatten up the stance.
The package is rounded off by RÄD Monza three-part forged 20-inch wheels with
255/30ZR20 and 295/25ZR20 Hankook S1 Evo rubber at the front and rear, respectively.
Interior upgrades include Alcantara-trimmed sports seats, and the rear pews can be upholstered with leather or Alcantara to match those in the front. There’s lashings of carbonfibre trim, as well as a BMW performance steering wheel with built-in upshift lights to create a racecar ambience.
The price of all this? Well, if you live in Germany, Manhart Racing will be happy to hand over a complete car for around €120,000 ($195,500 in our money). Or you could entrust them with your existing 3 Series wagon, and they’ll carry out the full conversion.
It’s almost reason enough to move to Germany…
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