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BMW tuning specialists Hartge Engineering are very familiar with the first rule of hot rod builders everywhere - there's no replacement for displacement. That's exactly the principle they applied to BMW's European entry-level model, the 1 Series, when they gave it an engine transplant from the M5.

The resulting H1 was put through its paces by the crew over at World Car Fans, and as you might expect, a five-liter, 450 hp V8 powerplant gives a 3,185 lb car fairly impressive performance - 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed of 188 mph. Even with the big V8 jammed into the RWD hatchback's engine bay, the front/rear weight distribution is reported as a surprisingly well-balanced 52/48 percent, giving the car handling to match (if not actually control) its massive power. (Follow the link for the full road test.)

The usual suspension upgrades keep the 19-inch wheels in contact with the pavement, and a fairly understated bodykit helps the aero and cooling without succumbing to the boy-racer look.

The price for the pocket rocket is - wait for it - about $128,000. Which brings to mind another hot rodding aphorism - "Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go?"

[Sources: World Car Fans, Hartge]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      #12 : A 50's technology V8, even a very well built one, is going to cost way less than a high performance modern design. I think the 1 series grows on you, I quite like its shape, the 130 looks like a lotta fun too!
      • 8 Years Ago
      theres a video of this in action at the hartge website (auf deutsch)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Honestly, I am not a fan of the "Bangle Butt" styling on most of these cars, but when it comes to this sort of performance, looks can be forgiven as a necessary evil.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "14. #12 : A 50's technology V8, even a very well built one, is going to cost way less than a high performance modern design."

      yes. the Z06 engine is exactly the same as a '50s small block. rrright.

      oh? you are referring to the fact it has pushrods? OHC is an *older* technology than pushrods.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh, but the drive. I had the pleasure of driving one of these in Scotland--the 120i, that is--and its steering and handling were as sublime as a first-gen Miata's. It wasn't fast, but like the Miata, it had an eager, fizzy engine and a slick gearbox that made the speed less relevant than the enjoyment. Then, of course, there's the five seats and a hatch.

      BMW's been talking about bringing this car to the States for some time now. Do it already!
      • 8 Years Ago
      You don't justify this sort of purchase. It's a luxury in the most exact definition of the term. This is something you get when you have money to burn and a performance itch to scratch.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How can anyone justify the price tag on this thing? Sorry, I don't get this car.

      I'd buy an R32 and bolt this $7k kit on http://www.eiptuning.com/eip/r32_turbo_systems_01.html

      Same performance and utility, quarter the price.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm sorry but a car that looks like a laughing monkey just doesn't sing for me.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I hope BMW brings the 2 series over here.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'd still pick it over the upcoming Audi A1.

      it most be an incredible experience, YOU GOT SO MUCH TORQUE ON YOUR REAR WHEELS IN SUCH A SMALL CAR, THAT YOU CAN FEEL THE CHASSIS BREAKING!

      By the way i take my hat off for Hartge for still get a "well-balanced 52/48 percent" even with the V8.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The lower sill on the 1 series makes it look like a fat dachshund dragging it's belly on the ground, while the greenhouse looks like a wheelhouse on a fishing dorry.

      Doesn't matter how well it performs, it's still a 2 bagger;-)
      • 8 Years Ago
      How do you figure that the V8 in that car costs more than the Corvette? I know for a fact that the 4.8L V8 in the X5 4.8is costs $14,000 - I work at a BMW dealership! That's one of the biggest V8s they offer, too.
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