BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
The Hartge version is a lot better looking than RD's cheesey knockoff (at least as pictured in that link - with the two tone exterior).

I saw a comparison on MotorTrend Television a while back where Hartge's 3-series failed to outperform the M3 (there was another conversion involved - I can't recall whose). I was surprised. When it comes to acceleration at least, you'd think the M5 engine would give the Hartge car an edge. I don't recall seeing any top-end figures though, which is where I suppose the V8 would really make a difference.

I wonder how many of those Hartge actually sells.
 

·
Rest in peace, Coach
Joined
·
9,106 Posts
E46 in Philly said:
The Hartge version is a lot better looking than RD's cheesey knockoff (at least as pictured in that link - with the two tone exterior).

I saw a comparison on MotorTrend Television a while back where Hartge's 3-series failed to outperform the M3 (there was another conversion involved - I can't recall whose). I was surprised. When it comes to acceleration at least, you'd think the M5 engine would give the Hartge car an edge. I don't recall seeing any top-end figures though, which is where I suppose the V8 would really make a difference.

I wonder how many of those Hartge actually sells.
Gearing, final drive, trick differential...etc.

Don't forget, it's not just a simple engine difference between the normal 3 series and the M3. You can strap a rocket on a normal E46, but if you can't properly put that power on the ground it's not going to go anywhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
344 Posts
I've got the video of them comparing the H50, stock M3 and an Alpina. It was the old H50 though, the one built on a 330ci platform, not from an M3. Traction was a serious limitation as it had 265 width tires. Not once did the thing maintain a straight line.

Question though; the M5 doesn't have more rubber, weighs about the same but handles much better? :dunno:
 

·
Sikkens Autocryl MM
Joined
·
2,808 Posts
Yeah, Speedvision used to have a Euro TV magazine show--I think it was called "Motorvision" or something like that. They compared the H50, an Alpina, and an M3. They liked the M3 the most because it had the best balance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
That Website fails to SHow the Hartge h50 In Its best form.
It has a Cheesy Honda looking body kit on it . Where The REAL hartge comes with a Front bumber That looks like the 330's only more aggressive. Almost gives the 3 series the eligance of a 5 Series

Specs

Engine 32- Valve quad cam v8
Capacity 4941cc
Power 400 odd horses @ 6600
Torque 369lb [email protected] 3500
Top Speed 186
0-62 4.8 Seconds:thumbdwn: ( I would expect better)
Nice 19 inch rims on it though
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
the whole story

Question:
I read this somewhere, but I don't remember exactly where. European Car, maybe, or some BMW magazine. Is it true that Racing Dynamics was trying to pass one of the Hartge M5-V8-3er coupe conversions off as their own? It struck me as odd when I read it, and I never heard anything else about it. Is it true?

This is the response I received from RD after inquiring about the incident.
Racing Dynamics decided to build a successor to the Hurricane, a V-12 5.5 liter powered 3 Series Compact, in January of 1997. It was decided back then that the new project (code name "Tornado") would be based on the E46 chassis and have a modified version of the M62 V-8 motor.
In December 1998, we announced the technical specs of the Tornado and it was announced as a 3 series Coupé with a modified version of the S62 motor.
In April of 1999 all Racing Dynamics operations were moved from Italy to Germany. The move halted all ongoing projects, including the Tornado.
In July 2000, Racing Dynamics GmbH (the new German company) resumed the Tornado project. Sourcing of subcomponent suppliers forced us to reveal details of the project to other companies, and the rumors of the upcoming release became widespread.
In September of 2000, we were approached by a German company that claimed to have heard about our Tornado project, stated that they already had something similar completed, and offered us to carry out the development of the Tornado for us.

In fact, the owner of the company told us, as his claim to fame, that he was the one that actually had developed the H50 for Hartge. Hartge subsequently had not been able to meet the promised sales volume, so he was looking to sell this development to other companies in order to recover his development expenses.
This is quite common in the automotive industry, as BMW does the same with many coachbuilders in Germany, Austria and Italy. Prototyping is quicker and more efficient if carried out by people that are used to this one-off work. We decided to take a look at a car that this company had built. We liked it and, albeit having a stock M5 motor, the implementation of the transplant was 90% to our standards, so we asked for a quote to develop the first Tornado.

The story was fully substantiated at the time, so we had no reason to doubt their claims. They even offered to build the first car in time for the upcoming Essen Motor Show by selling us an existing 330Ci they had purchased to build a car for their own use.
Three weeks prior to the Show it became apparent that the car was not going to be ready. We approached them with a firm demand that they do something about it. The floor space was booked, the Tornado was to be the only car on the booth, we had developed on one of our own cars a complete new body kit for it, and we were not going to pay for an empty booth!
This is when they offered to put us in contact with one of "their" customers that had an E46 that they had converted. We called the owner of the car, and, to our surprise, it was the same car that we had originally tested. It was a Topaz blue E46 Coupé in standard trim, with 740i brakes and BBS RC wheels.
We offered to pay DM 10,000 for giving us the car to display at the Essen Motor Show, with the understanding that we would have to outfit the vehicle with the Tornado body kit, our wheels, our exhaust, and change camshafts and ECU to bring the power to 450HP, plus all the miscellaneous bits and pieces to make it a full Racing Dynamics car. He agreed.

The car was delivered to our premises and we started work on the vehicle with only a few days to spare before the show was to begin. The vehicle had the original VIN numbers stricken by the TÜV and new numbers had been stamped. This is customary in Germany. When you modify a car to a point where the KBA (Transportation Authority) does not consider it to be close enough to the original vehicle, including a horsepower increase beyond 20%, you must reregister the car and they will reissue a VIN with a new registration. Since this car was all of the above, it was expected to have a new VIN number on the strut tower.
Unfortunately, salvaged cars, stolen cars that are later recovered, and many other cars that have had some sort of problem history also have a stricken VIN. This is always a sloppy looking job, and you do not want to show this on a display vehicle. For this reason alone, we decided to cover the strut tower with a Racing Dynamics sticker.

The evening before the show one of our employees finished mounting the aero package and started detailing the car to get it ready for the show. While vacuuming the interior he found, wedged between the tunnel and the passenger seat, the registration. He was curious to see how the car was registered and he gulped when he realized that the car was actually registered as a Hartge H50.
Ten minutes later our Managing Director was on the phone with the owner of the development company demanding an explanation. The explanation we got was basically that Hartge had indeed given him some money for the development of the concept, but he also made 2 claims that were critical to our decision to move forward with displaying the car:
1) Hartge had not kept up his side of the bargain and, although he may be unhappy with his decision to approach other customers, had no grounds to stand on because, ultimately, this was not Hartge's development but his own (implying that he had the knowledge and authority to prevent Hartge from having any adverse reaction).
2) The car in question was developed by him, for himself. The only reason it had Hartge papers was due to the fact that, by the time the car was completed, Hartge and himself were already in cooperation talks, and since he was not registered yet as a vehicle manufacturer whereas Hartge was, he asked and obtained form Hartge the opportunity to save on paperwork and expenses by registering his own car as a Hartge car.

Finally, it would be ludicrous for any tuner, including ourselves, to claim any intellectual rights on the concept of transplanting an M5 motor in a regular 3 series. The car was different enough, both in appearance and in technical content, from a Hartge H50, so we felt entitled, with the information we had at that moment, to display the car and call it a Tornado. Let's not forget that Hartge also uses a standard M5 motor, whereas we use a modified version with 450HP. We had a completely different body kit, different wheels, different exhaust, modified intake manifold, and many more differences that made the Tornado a very different car than a Hartge H50.

The second day of the show Herbert Hartge stopped by our booth and told us that this was one of his cars. We explained the facts, he seemed to be appeased, and he left us with parting words along the lines of "...have a good show, the car looks great, it will do well for you...". If there had been real claims of foul play, under German law, Hartge could have impounded the car and have it removed from the show. This has happened time and time again, namely with wheel copies, and the Germans are very strict about it. Yet, nothing happened.
I will not go into details of what happened after that. The short end of it was that the developing company denied any wrongdoing to Hartge thus fuelling his anger. The agreement between Hartge and the developing company was obviously not as loosely written as they had claimed it to be. We apologized to Hartge for the incident, but were firm on our position that we were misled by the development company.
When we made it clear to all parties that we were prepared to seek legal remedies from the developing company for fraudulent misrepresentation, loss of image, and so on, we got a phone call from Hartge and all three companies issued a statement to the VDAT (the German Tuner Association) that we had reconciled our differences and that there would be no further comment form any of the parties involved.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top