A 400-hp, V12, RWD hatchback isn't exactly common.
Despite the successful M Division and exotics like the M1, the BMW 3 Series remains perhaps one of the brand's best success stories. The 3 Series has grown a lot bigger in recent years, but it's mostly been excellent to drive, accessibly priced, and built to a high standard. However, even the 3 Series lineup has had a few duds along the way and the E36-generation 3 Series Compact is one of them. Oddly styled and with a rear semi-trailing arm from the older E30, it's not a BMW that has often been lusted after. But what if you shoehorned a V12 engine into the small body of the E36 Compact? Someone did just that - and now you can buy it.
Listed for sale on Finn.no, this bizarre 3 Series hatchback started life as a humble 316i with an inline-four engine that only just cracked the 100-horsepower mark. After its engine transplant, it was transformed into a 400-hp monster. Under the hood is the 5.6-liter V12 engine from the beautiful 850 CSi. To complete this unique build, the 316i was stripped down to its bare chassis. As part of its reincarnation, it received wider wheel arches, as well as bits and pieces from the M3. That includes suspension components, sportier seats, and the M3 sedan's dashboard. However, besides the Hartge replica wheels and add-ons like a sportier shift knob and handbrake, it doesn't look like it's concealing a V12.
At the back, there's no usual BMW series or engine designation - after all, what would one call a 316i with an 850 CSi's engine? 350i would probably be the closest thing. Considering that even the heaviest E36 Compact weighed under 3,000 pounds, this one must be capable of immense performance with 400 hp, although the rear wheels can't possibly have an especially easy time putting all that power down. This hatchback oddity is selling for £29,900 (around $35,500 at current rates), which actually sounds like a bit of a bargain considering the sheer shock factor of seeing this strange BMW hatchback embarrass older M3s.