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-liter, 640-hp V-12 squeezed under the hood but it never made it into production. Instead the most meaty 850CSi made 380 hp.

Now, over 30 years later Manhart has replaced that car’s five-liter V-12 with a similarly-sized but more potent V-8 engine originally fitted to the E39 M5. Dropping four cylinders is no loss, with the S62B50 engine producing 420 hp 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.


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 (13.4-inch) 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 ($162,000). If you want to raise eyebrows at RADwood it could be just the ticket.


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    RADwood! Oh boy they used the word again. It’s so cool, so rad! Uggh, I get you guys sponsor that stupidly named show but must you use that silly name everywhere on a car from the 80’s or 90’s.

    Anyway I do like the mods to this car minus the 20 inch wheels. They are too big for the car and for the period. It should be a lot of fun.

    Sponsor? They OWN RADwood…

    Personally I think they should just call the cars at that show classic like the other cars that get shown at similar special events. Those cars don’t need their own special term.

    Even worse, that would explain the constant need to do BRANDING! Look it’s a BRANDING car, sponsored by BRANDING! Only name I need to see around here is Hagerty. They are 80’s cars or 90’s cars. I don’t call/brand cars of the 60’s or 70’s after some trademarked car show.

    You might not, but a lot of people do. Malaise, brass, post-war, etc. It’s not unreasonable to group eras using things other than decades.

    Those aren’t trademarked car shows, they are “eras”. Either way Hagerty needs to pimp their shows everywhere they can I guess.

    I’m exhausted just trying to keep up with the generational names, baby boomer, Gen Xer, millennial, etc.
    I mean who wants to own a Malaise anything?

    Why are we dogging on the name RADwood? It’s cool. They need to write articles about something… or would you rather they discontinue this newsletter?

    Having a Radwood era specific show is a bit refreshing.

    Attending I know I will NOT see the typical clicks IE Tri- Five Chevys, 65 up Mustangs Gen 1 Camaros and those grey hairs that bring their new Corvettes. Oh yeah. NO 1950’s music blaring.

    Now I can cut through the BS and see NEW classics and those oddities that somehow still survive. A new group of enthisiasts Call it what you want.

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