The BMW 2002 - also known as BMW E10 - is by far the best-known model in the series 02. When releasing the 02, BMW aimed to reach a wide audience that wanted both sporty performance, space and comfort for a good price. The series 02 - especially the 2002 - became very popular in rally racing, further proving that German production cars are unmistakably distinguishing compared to cars with another ethnicity. Given its relatively long production period, from 1966 to 1977, and its influence on the highly acclaimed and well-known BMW series 3, the 02 is a must-have collector’s item for classic car enthusiasts.
It was in 1966 that BMW presented the 1600-2 at the Geneva Motor Show. It had to be the successor to the BMW sedan "Neue Klasse" (German for New Class) 1600. The 1600-2 was the sportier coupe with of course two doors instead of four. The name was soon given a new look: 1602, with the first two digits indicating the engine capacity and the last two digits indicating the series’ name 02. The 1602 was equipped with the BMW M10 engine, which is BMW's first four-cylinder engine since 1932 and delivered 85 horsepower.
The success of the 1602 didn’t remain unnoticed, and in response BMW decided to expand its range. In 1968, the BMW 2002 was introduced, which is a faster 02 with a larger engine that was powered by two Solex carburettors, which would later be replaced by mechanical injection. By introducing the BMW 1802 in 1971, BMW had chosen the golden mean: the 1802 was a 1766 cc engine car that was built to avoid the difficult buyer’s option between the 2002 and the 1602. Over the years, the 2002 was, reworked and improved, which made it able to prove its capacities on the rally circuit, for which it is still often used today. It was also the first production car with a turbo in 1974. As the icing on the cake, the 1502 was introduced in 1975, which is a smaller version of the 1602 that was meant to usher in the end of the 02’s era. Production was discontinued in 1977, partly due to the arrival of the series 3 as its successor. Ultimately, just over 800,000 02-series cars were delivered.
The BMW series 02 remains a highly coveted and sought-after classic. Thanks to its role as a precursor to the series 3, the catchy comfort-and-sport mix, and proof that regular BMW production cars could outdo rally cars in their own habitat.
BMW 2002 Turbo
In 1973, BMW unveiled its 2002 Turbo. At first glance, this car appears to be an anachronism, oil rates were skyrocketing worldwide, as the 1973 oil embargo had just been put. Many feared the worst and therefore even speed limits were lowered on highways. Nevertheless, BMW boldly released a sports car to the market, and not just any sports car, one that would shape the future of automotive design. The 2002 Turbo was the first European production car to be turbocharged for increased power output.
The car's performance was mind-blowing for its time. Additionally, the BMW story that this car carries is what makes classic car enthusiasts drool over. As there’s only about 1,700 manufactured from 1973 to 1975, its value appears to be truly on the rise.