V10-Powered Hartge H50 Emerges At EAG

Enthusiast Auto Group has done it again: The high-end, Ohio-based collector-BMW dealer has brought back a one-of-ten super sedan once owned by Turner Motorsports. If you’ve ever wanted a 500-horsepower, V10-powered, pre-LCI E90 3 Series, now might be your chance.

The Hartge H50 arrived in the BMW world at an interesting time; in 2006, the E90 had only recently emerged as the replacement for the E46, and the high-performance temptations of the S65-powered M3 and easy-to-modify N54 335i were still a year away. So when Merzig, Germany-based BMW specialist Hartge wanted to breathe new life into the platform, they had only one next-generation engine available: the legendary S85 V10 out of the then-new BMW M5 and M6.

The results embody the spirit of mid-2000s car modification. Hartge applied their standard aero kit (including the front spoiler and rear decklid spoiler) to the narrow-body E90, but also made some bespoke changes to the V10 monster, the most obvious being the quad exit exhaust poking through from the E90’s base-model rear bumper. To the uninitiated, it almost looks like a backwoods quad-exhaust conversion performed on a stock 325i—but the Hartge is so much more. Hartge front fenders (complete with a V10 badge and Hartge emblem) add some minor potency to the otherwise familiar 3 Series shape, and coil-over suspension and massive (but period-appropriate) ten-spoke wheels round out the exterior. The rest of the car appears fairly standard—although certain European-market details, like the lack of side reflectors, are noticed by the trained eye.

Inside, it starts to deviate from simply a modified 330i. Hartge was generous with their application of carbon-fiber, including areas on the center console and sport trim on the flat-bottom steering wheel. They also added their own gauge cluster, and although the car is not equipped with iDrive, a small center display is visible; our best guess would be that this is relevant to various settings required by the SMG transmission and ultra-complex S85 engine management, but one would have to examine the car more closely to confirm. And of course, poking out from the center console is an SMG gear selector—in a European-engineered car, this would have been the primary choice of transmission.

From an Internet pundit’s perspective, the Hartge H50 a curious car, and definitely represents a cross section of mid-2000s engineering and style. But this high-quality build won’t come cheap: Enthusiast Auto Group is asking $59,990 this time around for the 36,711-mile sedan.

What are your thoughts? Is the H50 a decent deal, or would you rather have BMW’s alternative, the E60 M3 or later E90 M3? Let us know in the comments down below, and before to drop us a line about other interesting or strange cars for sale in the BMW-enthusiast world!—David Rose

[Photos via EAG.]

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