BMW M850i by Manhart Racing
Do you want a slice of stealth and aggression with your BMW M850i?by Kirby, on
If rumors are to be believed, the BMW 8 Series Coupé is not long for this world. The good news, though, is that the impending demise is still a few years away. That should give us enough time to enjoy a model like the BMW M850i M Performance. Turns out, we’re not the only ones that have adopted a similar approach. Manhart Racing has been having some fun with the performance 8er, enough at least to create an arresting new tuning program that covers a lot of ground in the M850i. From exterior upgrades to engine enhancements, the German tuner has been a busy bee in the lab, though all that hard work appears to be time well-spent. This BMW M850i means business, and you wouldn’t want to be in its crosshairs.
- Black and gold color scheme
- Carbon fiber trims and accents
- Carbon fiber rear spoiler
- Carbon fiber front lip spoiler
- Carbon fiber diffuser
- 21-inch wheels
- Manhart badge on the nose of the Bimmer
If this BMW M850i looks familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen it before. Manhart Racing actually dropped a few teasers of what it was working on at the tail end of last year. We saw a few renderings of the Manhart-tuned M850i, but we didn’t get to see the full scope of what the tuner was working on until it dropped all the details earlier this month. This, folks, is what Manhart Racing was teasing all along, and all that waiting appears to have paid off.
Before we get into the meat of the program, let’s first take a look at the M850i’s exterior. A lot is going on here, beginning with the two-tone black body color with the gold trim spread throughout the body of the performance coupé. There’s a gold racing stripe running the length of the car and the “MH8 600” name is plastered on top of the windshield. The latter is a reference to the program’s name, which gives us a clue on what we can expect from Manhart’s engine upgrade program for the M850i’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine. The BMW M850i wears the black-and-gold color well, but this isn’t the first time that Manhart Racing has used this color scheme on one of its programs. Back in 2017, the German tuner used the exact color scheme on the Audi RS5 Coupé as part of its “RS500” tuning program. Seems like Manhart Racing isn’t above recycling colors if said colors fit the car’s identity.
Now, the bodywork. Anybody who knows Manhart Racing knows of its fascination for carbon fiber accents. The aforementioned Audi RS5 came with a lot of carbon fiber accents, and it’s the same story with the BMW M850i. The front splitter, for example, is awash with carbon fiber accents, as is the diffuser at the back. The side mirror caps also benefit from the carbon fiber treatment while a custom spoiler lip and a rear spoiler have been put in place for aesthetic and aerodynamic purposes. In keeping with its usual tuning MO, Manhart also removed BMW’s iconic badge on the nose of the M850i, replacing it with its own badge. I suppose that’s a straightforward way of telling everyone the responsible party for this aftermarket program.
Rounding out the exterior upgrades is the new set of 21-inch black wheels that Manhart was able to fit in part due to upgrades it made to the Bimmer’s suspension. All told, the exterior upgrades work well on the BMW M850i. You wouldn’t expect the Bimmer to exude a sleek and stealthy look because of its size, but Manhart Racing managed to make it work without compromising the M850i’s predisposed identity.
- Manhart badge in the center console
- Program name, also in the center console
- BMW Individual is the way to go
This is the section where Manhart’s influence is barely felt. In fact, the only contributions the German tuner made in the cabin of the M850i are the badge and package name that you can see prominently displayed in the center console. It’s a bit of a disappointment, for sure, but it’s also not the end of the world. In the absence of any meaningful upgrades on Manhart Racing’s part, you can look to other options to get your interior customization fix for the M850i. You don’t even have to look far because BMW Individual arguably has the most to offer anyway.
You’ll have to pay a premium for some of these options, but the results speak for themselves. Take the Opal White and Amaro Brown interior template, for example. It costs $2,650, but it looks drop-dead gorgeous as an interior option.
That pure white suede headliner, in particular, is to die for. If this two-tone setup doesn’t suit your taste, you can also opt for other delicious colors to go with a laundry list of premium trim options that are also available in the M850i. Carbon fiber trim? Sure. Fancy leather and Alcantara? There are plenty to choose from. Even exotic wood and aluminum trim options are available, ensuring that there’s no shortage of options to dig into.
Now, if you want to go all-out with the interior options, you can use the BMW Individual M850i Night Sky as a peg on what’s possible if you want something bad enough from BMW Individual. The one-off creation was unveiled earlier this year to showcase BMW Individual’s capacity for awesomeness when it comes to laying out options for the M850i. In the case of the Night Sky Edition, BMW Individual went with a galactic theme with inlaid hunks of meteorite adorning the center console trim plate, engine start-stop button, iDrive controller, and the top strip of the gear shifter. The hunks of meteorite are also part of the door sill plates. They’re easy to spot, too, because of their striated look, which is referred to as a Widmanstätten pattern, named after Count Alois von Beckh Widmanstätten, the director of the Imperial Porcelain Works in Vienna back in the early 19th century.
I’m not saying that you can get this meteorite hunks from BMW Individual by simply asking for them, but the fact that they were used on a one-off M850i creation means that BMW Individual will go to great lengths to give you a one-of-a-kind interior. In many ways, that’s a better option than what any tuner, Manhart Racing included, can offer.
- Unspecified tuning module, possibly a version of tuner’s MHTronik software program
- 621 horsepower net output
- 636 pound-feet of torque net output
- 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds (estimate)
- Top speed of over 190 mph (estimate)
The unquestioned highlight of Manhart Racing’s MH8 600 program for the BMW M850i is the engine upgrade program that the tuner created for the Bimmer’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine. No surprises here, right? The tuner didn’t elaborate on the specifics of the engine upgrade program, but knowing Manhart, the key ingredient here, as is the case with all of its programs, is a software tune that’s at least similar to the MHTronik tuning module that it has used on a number of other BMW models in the past.
Whatever module that was used, it’s clear that the extra horsepower is enough to turn the M850i into a full-blown performance car that packs more power than the flagship 617-horsepower M8 Competition. All told, Manhart Racing was able to increase the output of the M850i’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine from 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque to a heart-stopping 621 horsepower and 656 pound-feet of torque. Not only does that represent an increase of 98 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of twist over the coupe’s standard output, but it’s also now more powerful than the 617-horsepower M8 Competition.
Manhart also didn’t specify the coupé’s new performance numbers — a little help here, Manhart? — but since the M8 Competition can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds, it wouldn’t come as a shock if this tuned version of the M850i can do the same in less than three seconds. Top speed should also increase, though not by much. The standard M8 Competition maxes out at 189 mph so a 190-mph top speed from this juiced up M850i is very possible.
Whatever the actual figures are, Manhart Racing’s program for the BMW M850i does not disappoint. It has some holes, sure, but what tuning program doesn’t have them? The important thing is that this BMW M850i is a completely different beast compared to other M850is. It’s the responsibility of each tuner to ensure that significant changes are evident when they create a program for a car that’s as naturally potent as the BMW 850i. The proof, at least, in this case, is in the numbers. A 621-horsepower BMW M850i can lay waste to any unsuspecting fool that gets in its way.
If the rumors are true that the BMW M850i isn’t going to last long in Bimmer’s lineup, now’s probably as good a time as any to get one and see what it’s all about. It’s not a cheap car — pricing starts at around $112,000 — but like the first-generation 8 Series — models like this that don’t live long tend to develop an impressive following years down the road. I’m not saying that the M850i is going to be that car, but it’s looking less of a priority for Bimmer these days to the point that it’s been mentioned as a potential casualty in the automaker’s rumored model purge. But like I said, that “purge,” if it does happen, is still a few years away.
That should give us enough time to enjoy the M850i, and what better way to enjoy this ride than to drop a Manhart Racing aftermarket program on it. The German tuner isn’t promising a world of difference, but with the increased output and the all the aesthetic and aerodynamic modifications, you’re not getting a shallow upgrade, either. Instead, you’re getting a BMW M850i that looks incredible and comes with improved power and performance chops that will surprise a lot of people. So go ahead and get the kit, and then go lay waste to anyone stupid enough to get in the way of your souped-up M850i.