Manhart has been expanding its horizons by working on cars way past their prime. After revitalizing a 3 Series E30 about a month ago, the German tuner is now presenting an even older BMW to show its respect to the elderly. It’s a 2002 manufactured in the first half of the 1970s but not just any version of the 3 Series’ precursor since we’re dealing with the high-performance tii flavor with ALPINA upgrades on top.
The “M10” engine has been retained but the 2.0-liter unit has been massaged to deliver 200 horsepower and 215 Newton-meters (159 pound-feet) of torque. Back in the day, BMW rated the naturally aspirated inline-four at 130 hp and 178 Nm (131 lb-ft). The significant bump in output was achieved by installing a K&N airbox, and while 200 hp might not sound like much by 2023 standards, lest we forget this car weighs a little over 1,000 kilograms or slightly more than 2,200 pounds.
With great power comes great responsibility, which is why Manhart upgraded the brakes by borrowing the setup used by the first-generation 3 Series (E21) in the 323i specification. The timeless multi-spoke ALPINA wheels are still there, wrapped around in 215/40 R16 front and 225/40 R16 rear tires. These alloys feature 25-mm spacers at both axles to complement the fender flares.
Manhart wanted to make the car more fun to drive and aside from upgrading the engine and brakes, it also installed a Raab coilover suspension developed by KW. In addition, the modernized ALPINA 2002 tii benefits from a Wiechers strut brace for greater body stiffness. Rounding off the list of hardware tweaks is the tuner’s custom exhaust system to improve the soundtrack delivered by the M10.
Period-correct decorative stripes and decals add to the nostalgia, and those bright green accents continue inside where there are Scheel seats for the driver and front passenger. In the rear, Manhart mounted a Clubsport roll bar but the bench is still there.