While diesel is undoubtedly less popular than it once was, there remains little to match it for long-distance travel. For those that want to drive a big distance, stop infrequently, and use little fuel, there's nothing for the job quite like a big oil burner. And now those trips are starting to resume, German tuner Manhart has just the car for the job...
The MH7 400d is based on the BMW 740d xDrive, already a fine exponent of what diesel can do. Buyers in the UK get 340hp and 5.0-second 0-62mph potential, allied to 45mpg and 164g/km - without any need to charge, of course. For its MH7, Manhart has upgraded the 740d's turbo and pepped up the ECU, liberating 405hp and - most importantly for a diesel - 583lb ft in the process. Bear in mind an M5 CS only produces 590lb ft, while the standard 740d, for reference, produces 516lb ft. A tweak of the eight-speed auto ought to ensure the MH7 feels as spritely as those numbers would suggest. A modest upgrade by Manhart's standards, perhaps, but those are healthy outputs even for a big 7 Series.
Additional modifications follow the Manhart copybook. The MH7 400d keeps the standard air suspension, but now sits lower than to new coupling rods; it rides on 22-inch wheels and 15mm spacers, with carbon accents front and rear. Plus, of course, the gold bits. Perhaps not the ideal look for an under-the-radar executive express, but Manhart is nothing if not consistent. The stripes and lettering are "downright obligatory", apparently, so don't say you weren't warned.
But where there's a will, there's a way; those not keen on the full MH7 400d look should check out the Manhart shop, because there lurks the performance upgrade all on its own for €7,000. Which isn't cheap, but then neither is replacing turbochargers. Fitted to a 740d like this, with its tiny wheels an Uber XL look, the MH7 upgrade could make for quite the machine - without a bit of gold in sight.
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