The styling, technology, and V12 engine are the three main factors that made the original BMW 8 Series hugely desirable. While the E31’s design is timeless and the tech is outdated by 2024 standards, the twelve-cylinder engine is largely gone. Not just generally speaking, but also in the case of this stunning coupe modified by Manhart.

The German aftermarket specialists dared to get rid of the mighty M70 engine and replace it with a smaller V8. Granted, it’s not just any eight-cylinder mill but the S62B50 used in the M5 E39 and the Z8 E52. Manhart worked its magic and tuned the naturally aspirated 4.9-liter engine to a healthy 420 horsepower. Despite having four fewer cylinders, this stunning gran tourer has around 120 hp more than the standard 850i donor car.

Beyond the engine transplant, this E31 from 1990 underwent a three-year restoration at Manhart and one of the tuner’s partners. Looking pretty much perfect, this first-generation 8 Series Coupe still has a six-speed manual gearbox routing power to the rear wheels. It comes with upgraded brakes at the front axle and an H&R suspension lowering kit.

It’s not just the engine that has been changed as Manhart also swapped out the original wheels for its own custom set. The new 20-inch alloys with a double-spoke design come wrapped in 255/30 R20 front and 295/25 R20 rear Continental SportContact 7 tires. Bilstein shock absorbers were installed, along with different front and rear skirts. Other changes included M-specific side mirror caps and a trunk lid spoiler.

Manhart refreshed the interior of this special E31 by wrapping the 2+2 cabin in new leather. There’s also Alcantara on some of the surfaces, along with blue and red stitching as a nod to the M logo. This 8 Series has only 23,225 kilometers (14,431 miles) on the clock and carries a sticker price of €149,900. At current exchange rates, that works out to nearly $163,000.

This isn’t a one-off project since Manhart is modifying four other E31 models.

Source: Manhart