Is this the V-Class AMG you never knew you wanted? Meet Manhart’s brawny van

Published Dec 14, 2023


Think of German tuning companies like Manhart and high performance coupes generally spring to mind, long with the odd super saloon or equivalent wagon.

But if there’s one vehicle type that has received minimal attention from the tuning fraternity it’s the humble minivan. OK, maybe humble is not the right word to use, given how luxurious some of these people movers have become in recent years.

And given their surge in popularity, it was only a matter of time before vehicle modification specialists started to show interest in vehicles like the Mercedes V-Class.

What you see here is the new Manhart V350 from Germany. The company describes it as “almost resembling an AMG” thanks to its exterior design package by TopCar Design.

But it’s also more than just a cosmetic upgrade as Manhart has beefed up the V300d’s 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel engine with its own MHtronik engine control unit.

Thanks to that, the modified van now boasts outputs of 209kW and 585Nm, which is a useful gain over the standard V300’s power and torque figures of 174kW and 550Nm.

The German tuner has also sharpened the handling with the fitment of H&R springs that lower the vehicle by 25mm, as well as unique 20-inch, double-spoke alloy wheels.

As for the all-important aesthetics, the TopCar Inferno body kit includes a redesigned bumper featuring a new grille and lower air inlets in a honeycomb pattern and you’ll also find a lower lip spoiler and modified bonnet with two ‘power domes’.

Side skirts and flared fenders mark out the side view while the rear end has been pimped out with a new bumper housing a fake air inlet and bolder diffuser with quad tail pipes. Many of the TopCar components are made from carbon fibre.

The aforementioned exterior and performance components for the V350 are sold separately by Manhart.

But come on AMG...where’s your official version of the V-Class?