Big thanks to member warrenatc for doing this testdrive for us
"My drive of the delimited Hartge M5
I would like to thank Mathias Hemmer of Pentagon military sales for organizing the test drive andHartge sales deparment at Hartge for allowing me to take their pride and joy out on the public roads alone for some fun.
I got word I could test the car vice a regular M5 as none were available as you could imagine so Mathias scheduled my drive for after work on Friday 24th Jun. I drove the 55mins to Saarbrucken from Ramstein to their facility. I wish I knew they were this close before, as I would have made more visits. Unfortunately the test would be right before closing so I only spent 20-30mins driving the beast and a little longer chatting with their representative Hartge sales deparment. It was rushed as the car is going to a customer the following week, but I could not turn down the offer. On arrival, I was greeted by Hartge sales deparment and I could tell this was a great organization, nice facilities with friendly knowledgeable people. After taking a few pics and getting some paperwork out the way we went to the M5. Jorge showed me around the car to display the mods they had done and how to operate SMG since it was my first time driving with it.
The mods on the car are pretty much complete per Hartge, front/rear lip, new exhaust (still needs the laser Hartge inscriptions though) delimiter box, wheels and interior components (handbrake handle, pedals, floormats). Upon startup, the exhaust sounded deeper and meaner than stock from what I have heard on other posts of M5’s in idle and getting the gas on. Apparently four M5’s are headed down to their facility from Sweden for fitting of the Hartge exhaust…any board members we know off?
Wheels: Huge! 21”rs with rubber band tires on it they looked so thin but held up well. Around 5100 Euro for the set, they make my 18’s on my e34 next to it look tiny! The ride was quite compliant, not rough and the car was easy to navigate fast lane changes on the highway.
Body Kit: I liked the front lip and rear added on component. It seemed to complete the picture and gave the car a distinctive look.
Suspension: It was lowered approx 1” all the way round and felt tight and responsive, just like my e34 which has a lowered suspension. Not exactly go-cart like, however very little body roll was felt when I yanked the car over from lane to lane on the autobahn. I could not remember the price for the suspension mods but it seemed reasonable maybe 380 euros or less. I played with the EDC but did not notice too much difference on the highway maybe it was due to the suspension mods?
Delimiter: Hartge sales deparment told me that he heard that originally “M” engineers wanted a derestricted car to compete with the likes of AMG but Munich would not allow it. So it is an easy fix to apply the delimiter box which attaches with two wires (Did not see it). Hartge sales deparment said it would cost approx 2500Euros which I thought was expensive, but it comes with a 6500euro insurance policy if it screws up the engine. Due to traffic I did not get to test it out but got going pretty quickly (250kph+) on one stretch a can be seen in one of the videos clips The ride was smooth as silk and you could not tell you were going that fast. Darn the traffic!
SMG: I drove in s5 mode mostly but found the up shifts had a bit of lag and the car speed dropped for a moment before picking up. Since it was my first time driving SMG I was probably not doing something right. I thought the shift speed would be more or less instant. I tried it in “D” and found the car quite lazy it easily went up to 7th and felt like I was loafing around, a quick stab of the gas and the car downsleected to 3rd and we were off. I definitely need more seat time to get an accurate assessment of the tranny but it worked well nevertheless.
Engine: A masterpiece, willing and enthusiastic with tons of grunt on tap.
Brakes: Like throwing an anchor out the window they inspired confidence even at high autobahn speeds.
The best part of the drive was the intoxicating sound of accelerating, letting off downshifting with the computer blipping the engine and accelerating again. If it was not for the HUD displaying my speed, I think I would be in jail; it just wants to go fast and is ready to give it all. This is definitely a driver’s car!
I tried to capture the raw acceleration of the V10 through some video clips from my little Casio Exlim. I hope they give you an idea of what I experienced; it was a little difficult holding the camera and driving/shifting but I wanted all the board members to feel what I felt. It was a great experience; my heart was definitely beating much faster when I arrived back at their facility. Good on Hartge for stretching the envelope on an already impressive car. If you are on the fence, don’t wait, life is short, get your order in now for an M5, you won’t regret it. I hope you found this review helpful, enjoy the pics/clips!
Some shorter videos will come
Pricing of the wheels:
HARTGE CLASSIC 2 wheel set
9.5 x 21" offset 18 with 255 / 30 ZR 21 ContiSC-2 front
10.5 x 21" offset 22 with 295 / 25 ZR 21 ContiSC-2 rear
The front comes with 10 mm spacers (equals to offset 8).
Retail price: 5,100 EUR + VAT and transport or installation.
Front wheel housing, no modifications necessary
Reworking the rear wheel housing is required (rolling the inside
edge in the lower region of the wheel arch)
Reworking the bumper paneling in the region of the wheel arch (cut
some small plastic pieces)