Manhart Performance is turning 30 this year and to celebrate this milestone, the company posted some photos on Facebook of one of its first projects. Back in the 1980s, the one BMW everyone wanted to drive was the E30 M3. However, not everyone could afford one so various tuners started to tune regular E30 3 Series models to behave like an M3.

The photos show a blacked out BMW E30 3 Series which – at a first glance – looks similar to an E30 M3. The basis for this project was a 318i which was heavily modified to offer ridiculous performance. Under the bonnet, the tuner added a 3.5-liter M88 engine modified to deliver 311 HP. That’s probably why they dubbed it S88 as that engine never officially existed. It was a high performance version of the unit found in the legendary M1.


Back in those days, MPG figures didn’t pose a great deal of importance so the only question you had to answer was how far you could stray from a gas pump before running out of juice. To solve this pesky issue, the tank’s size was doubled to 96 liters (25.3 US gallons) to be able to feed the thirsty 6-cylinder under the hood.

Other changes included Alpina turbine wheels, an Alpina front spoiler as well as an E30 M3 brake system, transmission and rear differential. For those days, this thing was a beast! The guys are also promising they will be bringing out something special this summer, to celebrate their three decades of tuning.