Once upon a time, BMW built lightweight, nimble sports cars that combined silky smooth engines with perfect balance and a touch of luxury. Today, the German manufacturer has trended towards beefy twin-turbocharged powerplants and way too much luxury, as evidenced by the recent revival of the 8 Series. But what happens when fans of BMW’s past decide to create a car that features the best of both worlds. Well, with the weight gains of a twin-turbo V8 come weight shavings made necessary in order to keep handling on point. The result might just look like “Klaus the Barbarian,” the brainchild of Hidden Motorsports of Toledo, Ohio.
As reported by Engine Swap Depot—the Hidden Motorsports website currently sits at an early stage of development—this strange Frankenstein combines an E36-generation BMW 3 Series with a ton of wild mods. Underneath the region where the hood used to cover the engine bay sits a 5.3-liter LSX V8 that’s received a pair of massive 82mm turbochargers that are probably the reason the hood is now missing. The powerplant was built using an iron block, a Texas Speed Bald Eagle camshaft, ported heads from Lingenfelter, forged internals, and a Holley Hi-Ram intake manifold.
Klaus the Barbarian looks pretty radical thanks to the entire car being stripped, leaving mostly just the wheels and the front kidney grilles to signify its origin as a 1993 325i. The engine sends what is, no doubt, a considerable amount of power to the rear wheels through a T56 Magnum six-speed manual gearbox, a three-inch driveshaft, and a 210mm rear differential resting in an M3 subframe. The entire caged project should be an absolute blast to drive, given how much weight must have been removed during the course of the project.