Manhart Racing has shoehorned the BMW M5/M6 5.0-litre V10 engine into a Z4. Power achieved is 550hp and the 0 - 100km/h sprint is done in 3.9 seconds.

Fans of the BMW Z4 would surely have been disappointed to learn that Munich is not planning to introduce an M version of the new two-seat hardtop. The highest that the Z4 goes as far as power is concerned is 225kW (306hp) which might increase to 245kW (333hp) if the BMW Motorsport kit is introduced for the model. Other than that no manic coupe/ roadster is in sight.

Panic not Z4 M fans because Manhart Racing has a solution. The tuner, whose founder Günther Manhart has 25 years of reworking BMW engines under his belt, has shoehorned the V10 naturally aspirated engine from the M5 and M6 into the small and narrow body of the Z4. Fitting such a monster powerplant proved a harrowing challenge but one that was eventually overcome. Now it sits just above the car's front axle. The total kerb weight is 1,450kg.

Factory power is a good 373kW (507hp). Manhart has increased this to 405kW (550hp) by, among other things reworking the ECU. Performance looks to be quite strong with the 0 - 100km/h dash said to be attainable in 3.9 seconds. They have also removed the 250km/h speed limit.

Other modifications include an AC Schnitzer stainless steel exhaust system with four muffler tips, an original M5 E60 6-speed manual transmission which includes a Fichtel & Sachs clutch and a M5 E60 differential. All the equipment is kept on tar by 8.5Jx19 ET35 235/35ZR19 front tyres and 10Jx19 ET20 285/30ZR19 rear tyres.


Gallery: Manhart Racing BMW Z4 with 550hp V10 transplant