BMWs That Will Be Missed: BMW 502

BMW 502 Coupe 1 photo
Photo: BMW
BMW started developing its first post-war car, the 502, at a time when the whole world was still recovering from the disaster, in 1951. The first 502 prototype had a barely adequate engine and Chief Engineer of BMW at the time, Alfred Böning, decided to create a brand new engine in order to make the car more enjoyable.
This is how the first post-war V8 powered BMW came to see the light of day. However, this wasn't a monster engine, as we're used to these days. The 8-cylinder engine had a displacement of only 2.6-liters and a power output of 100 HP due to a two-barrel Solex carburetor.

The car was heavy, weighing 1,440 kg. However, the 502 was capable of reaching a top speed of 130 km/h which was enough for 1954. The car was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1954 and started production that same year.

After 1 year, at the Frankfurt Motor Show a new, improved version of the 502 was unveiled. This one had a 3.2-liter V8 engine that boasted 120 HP and managed to have better fuel consumption than the underpowered brother before him. However, BMW decided to keep both cars in production until 1964 in order to give the customers a wider range from which to choose.

Those were trying times for the Bavarian constructor and because everyone had financial issues, sales weren't extraordinary even though the cars were reliable and delivered constant performance. A total of only 6,982 502 models were built between 1954 and 1964. However, their legacy lived on through the 503 and 507 models and later on through the technology used on the New Six models.
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