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Remember when Manhart stuck an M5’s V10 in the Z4?

Dear lord, what were they smoking?

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For the past 30 years, German tuner Manhart has been swapping engines between different BMW models and creating all kinds of brilliant, Frankenstein-like monsters in the process. However, there’s one car that encapsulates the madness more than most, and we’d like to take a moment to reminisce.

The first generation BMW Z4’s looks have aged well haven’t they? Anyone else think the roadster could be Bangle’s biggest success in Bavaria?

Back in the day, the M versions of the Z4 were fantastic cars. Clearly though, Manhart felt that they needed a bit of a boost. A bit more go, if you will. 

Their crafty solution to the problem was to squeeze in the monumental 5.0-litre V10 from the E60 M5, before tickling the famously unreliable engine up to 592bhp. Yep, that’d do it.

Whisper it, but there was also a limited edition where the engine was bored out to 5.8-litres and tuned to 621bhp. Crikey.

Thankfully, Manhart also upgraded the gearbox, brakes and suspension in an attempt to deal with the power increase, although we get the feeling that the MHZ4 600 may have been slightly nose-heavy.

Get the roof down, find a straight bit of road and pin the throttle though and you wouldn’t have minded one bit. Those quad-pipes would certainly sing.

Looking back, this might be one of our favourite ever engine swaps. What do you reckon?

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