Twentieth-century car historians often describe the BMW 2002 as the model that turned the stuttering post-war fortunes of the West German auto production giant around,

The 2002 not only saved BMW from possible insolvency but impetus gained from th model's success went on on to place the company marque on par with top German manufacturers like Volkswagen.

The world market (and especially the US) was primed for a high-powered, but nimble small sports saloons and BMW filled the niche to perfection with the 2002.

The 2002 was synonymous with modernity: a two-door economy car that fulfilled practical everyday requirements — space for four people to travel in comfort (independent suspension with MacPherson struts) with room for luggage too.

Above all, this BMW was the epitome of what a sports racer should be — a family saloon that drove like a racing car — speedy, agile and quick off the mark, handling better than just about any other small car on the market.

The 2002 evolved out of BMW's New Class sedans, first introduced in 1961 powered by BMW's revolutionary four-cylinder M10 engine.

Although the M10 was initially launched as a 1.5-litre engine, the engine was, in fact, an engineering masterpiece, and that it could easily be expanded to reach as powerful as two litres.

Aware of that possibility BMW's Planning Department fitted a 2 litre M10 into a two-door New Class 1600s and the result was the BMW 2002.

The financial department at BMW must have been delighted by this discovery, which involved next to nothing in the way of investment and brought in huge sales and profits.

Taking full advantage of their discovery BMW also introduced a hatchback three-door model, the 2002 TI (Touring international) and finally its star model, the 2002Tii (Touring international injection) fitted with a Kugelfischer fuel injection pump.

With the introduction of the 200211i, BMW firmly established itself as a reputable quality manufacturer and set the standard for the entire class of small, high-performance cars, paving the way for the models on the road today.


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