Herbert Hartge has been producing his Bavarian specials for more than 30 years now. And as each new generation of BMWs gets better and better, these tuned versions have managed to keep pushing the envelope even further. The Beckingen Bimmers have grown into some of the fastest German tuner cars, model for model. Generally known for their prodigious horsepower bumps, wheel and suspension upgrades and the like, last year's Essen project struck some as Hartge's goodbye to good sense.
Shoehorning the M5's V10 into the new E92 3-Series sedan might have seemed like overkill to some, but with BMW promising a V8 in the new M3, this was simply an expeditious way of turning the volume up to 11 -- and the reaction was pretty overwhelming. Although the aggressive body kit and multi-louvered hood were a big tip-off to what was in store, turning the key, engaging first, and hanging on for dear life really made people see the light. With the ensuing tidal wave of inquiries and orders, Herbert decided to offer up a sequel for this year's show.
And what better follow up with than the new E92 Coupe? The wild front end features sedan-similar mods with that extended split lip, and multiple louvers remain on the hood, making the 550-horsepower V10 partially visible underneath. This coupe promises to be good for 320 km/h (199 mph) and a 0-62 sprint of 4.4 seconds. All this and the requisite beefed up underpinnings for the low, low price of just 157,650.00 EUR including 16% VAT. (That's 208 grand, in case you had to ask . Gulp.) Not exactly a bargain, but maybe a good value if you absolutely, positively have to have one of the fastest and best built V10 3-Series on the planet. Whatever planet that happens to be.