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Herbert Hartge has been producing his Bavarian specials for more than 30 years now. And as each new generation of BMWs gets better and better, these tuned versions have managed to keep pushing the envelope even further. The Beckingen Bimmers have grown into some of the fastest German tuner cars, model for model. Generally known for their prodigious horsepower bumps, wheel and suspension upgrades and the like, last year's Essen project struck some as Hartge's goodbye to good sense.

If Alpina's take on the BMW 320d got your blood rushing, you may want to take a peek into what Hartge is up to. European Car ripped up some roads with a pair of Hartge-tuned Bimmers diesels and, well, to say that they were impressed would be an understatement.

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.