BMWs That Will Be Missed: BMW 2002
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At the time, BMW named its cars almost exclusively by the capacity of the engine they had, since most models only had 1 or 2 engines available. This was the case with the precursor of the 2002, the 1600 which had a 1.6-liter engine, and the 2002 which had a 2-liter engine.
An interesting story about how the 2002 came to life is related to 2 important names in the company at the time. Helmut Werner Bonsch, BMW's director of product planning and Alex von Valkenhausen, designer of the M10 engine, each had a 2-liter engine installed in their respective 1600 BMWs. When they realized that they both did the same thing, it has been decided to present this to the board of executives. At the same time, Max Hoffman, the American importer of BMWs was making requests for a sportier 1600 BMW that could be sold in the US.
This is how the 2002 came to life, a fortunate mix of coincidences. The 2-liter engine was available in 2 versions: the base, single-carburetor 100 HP one and the dual-carburetor, high compression 120 HP one that was available on the 2002ti.
A cabriolet version was available starting with 1971 when the Baur Cabriolet was fitted with the 2.0-liter engine and became the 2002 Cabriolet. Also, a touring hatchback version was available with both engines from the 2002 and later on a 2002tii version was produced that had 130 HP coming out of the 2.0-liter engine.
A 2002 Turbo version was introduced at the 1973 Frankfurt Motor Show. It had the same 2-liter engine but this time it was fitted with a KKK turbocharger becoming BMW's first turbocharged production car. The engine of this car produced 170 HP and 240 Nm of torque.
However, the 2002 Turbo was released during the 1973 Oil Crisis and only 1,672 of them were ever built, production ending in 1974.
Over the years there have been few cars that made history in BMW's line-up. The BMW 2002 was definitely one of them, not only because it was the first turbocharged production car that BMW (and Europe for that matter) ever made, but also because it was the precursor of the most popular car BMW ever made, the 3 Series.
❐ Check out the BMW 2002 photo gallery
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