The main talking point online in the car community right now is, without a doubt, the new design of the 2021 BMW 4 Series. While there are a few new styling cues to discuss, from the lack of the Hofmeister kink in the back and the character lines on the sides, the biggest problem people seem to have with it is at the front. Yes, the new grille. Somehow, somebody had the same idea as BMW a while back though, and you could consider them visionaries.

Meet German tuner Hartge. They actually launched a car featuring noticeably larger grilles than what people were used to. To make things worse, the car they chose for this experiment was already controversial, being launched in the famed Bangle era. That’s when we got some really interesting designs on the BMW range, models that were considered by many as mistakes and exceptions to the rule.

Hartge BMW 6 Series 1 830x623

If you look throughout BMW’s history, the Bangle era cars are definitely just an exception, the design changing drastically once Bangle left the company. The E24 6 Series was part of that generation. And Hartge took it even further. The biggest changes happened up front, where the stock bumper was swapped out for a new one, featuring bigger grilles, with a design that is close to what we’ve been seeing on the new 4 Series Coupe.

This being a Hartge product, it also received a new set of wheels, new exhaust and even a bigger engine. But that’s all irrelevant right now, as the big grille up front takes the main stage. Considering this Hartge model was launched more than 15 years ago, could it be that BMW was actually inspired by it?

All jokes aside, this is truly a walk down memory lane, one that shows such ideas were meddled with in the past as well, but not to great success.