Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia - It is actually sex symbol singer Mae West who is credited with the definition of automotive performance so beloved of petrolheads everywhere: “If a little is great, and a lot is better, then way too much is just about right.”

And that certainly applies to the MH5 700, a menacingly modified BMW M5 Competition by Manhart, a Westphalian tuning haus that has specialised in BMWs for more than three decades and regards the M skunk works’ wildest creations as merely a good place to start.

And they started by hooking a piggyback MHtronik peripheral ECU onto the engine management system of the M5 Competition’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, and ditching the standard auspuff in favour of their own stainless-steel storm drain, finished with 102mm carbon-fibre tailpipes.

The result is a very even-tempered car - it hates everything else on road all the time, hisses and pops on the overrun, and delivers a reliable 532kW and 870Nm, 70kW and 120Nm more than the hottest M5 from Munich. Manhart doesn’t quote performance figures - other than casually mentioning on its website that the MH5 700 will go from 100-200km/h in less than six seconds - but the as-issued M5 is good for 0-100km in 3.3 seconds and 0-200 in 10.8, so you can expect this thing to spank most superbikes in a straight line.

She’s got the look

The MH5 700 runs 20mm lower than standard on special KW springs and 21 inch Manhart Concave One aluminium rims in satin black with gold accented edges, with a complete, very Darth Vaderish carbon-fibre aero kit that includes a new front spoiler with an  optional RS splitter blade, a striking one-piece rear diffuser and an unexpectedly discreet boot-lid spoiler.

Be afraid, Brabus, be very afraid.

IOL Motoring