BMW's current reputation of building Ultimate Driving Machines can be traced back through history all the way to 1966, when the German automaker introduced the world to its 1600-2 two-door at the Geneva Motor Show. The car's name was simplified in 1971 to BMW 1602, and it went on to spawn the 2002, one of the most famous BMW models of all time.

BMW looks back on its past successes in a video that you can see below. As the automaker itself says in the video description, "This series was extraordinarily successful in reinterpreting the concept of the sports saloon and played a major role in motor sport long after production had come to an end." The 2002 would be replaced in 1975 by another legendary model from BMW: the 3 Series.

We'd be lying if we said we didn't long for something along the lines of the classic 2002 from BMW today. Since that doesn't seem likely to happen anytime soon, join us in remembering the cars that helped make BMW a household name by scrolling down below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the BMW that I want. They can keep the six series gts and fwd cars on the horizon. I would love to have 02 to compliment my e30 & z3
      getoffmydinghy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love BMWs, but there is nothing light about them anymore.
      Felipe Politano
      • 1 Year Ago
      Okay, so the only reason why they're flaunting this "02 series" heritage now is the upcoming new 2 series. BMW always told this story in a slightly different way, saying the 2002 was part of the 3-series history. Now that the 3-series has become such a big brand name and a legend itself, it seems just right to start building the tradition for a new series. Smart people at their marketing department, huh? By the way, the 2-series being a facelifted RWD 1-series coupe, will be in fact the closest we'll ever get to a 2002 comeback. And it might just as well become Bimmer's coolest current model, too.
      56Jalopy
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the biggest mistakes of my life. I owned a MGBGT My dad's company car was a BMW 2002, at the end of it's lease he had the option to buy it for $1600.00 (it had 34000 on the odometer). He was going to turn it in and I said no I will buy it and resell for a profit. I did that and made $900.00 in two days, I should have sold the MG instead. It was yellow as in the picture..
        RetrogradE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @56Jalopy
        I have similar regrets--I feel your pain. Part of life is knowing when you're content with something and not being disillusioned that something better is out there. I'm 38, no debt. I could afford a nice car but I drive a GTI because it's fun. 2 years ago (when I bought it), I said to myself, "I don't care what other people drive or think I should be driving. . ." I also own a BMW GS Adventure for the days when I don't do the carpool with the kids. Anyway, the 2002 is awesome. So there.
      Felspawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      I remember being a kid on vacation in Portugal and seeing a absolutely mint 2002tii. It was magnificent. One of my favorite car i can across in my youth
      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great car, wish they afford something like that again. The nearest things they offer is the 135i & 135is which are north of $47k.
        Carbon Fibre
        • 1 Year Ago
        @KAG
        No kidding. Might as well get a 3 series... err 4? FFS whatever they botched it.
      karlInSanDiego
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've had a 1972 2002 for 12 years. A month ago I timed it at 0-60 in 6.61 seconds, down from 11.3 seconds that Road & Track said an '02 could do in 1968. If you'd have told me when I bought it that you could achieve that in a 70's era 4 cyl with 4 seats, and no turbo I'd have laughed at you. But I'm here to tell you, a 2002 can be balanced, raise the compression to 10:1 with new pistons, add DCOE 40s, a Schrick cam, and an exhaust and you have a pretty quick classic. No shortage of upgraded suspension parts availability either. You don't have to pay $37,000 for these cars, yet. There are still lots of ratty ones around if you're willing to do a lot of work on them yourself. http://farm1.staticflickr.com/44/143771107_4ceb7dbcc7_z.jpg?zz=1 . We're selling our 2000 Z3 2.5, but keeping the '02.
      gtv4rudy
      • 1 Year Ago
      There was another car company that made a better 'ultimate driving machine' and it was Alfa Romeo. This BMW 2002 was a good car but it wasn't as quick and it didn't handle as well as those Alfa Romeo's of that era.
        Shiftright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        Yup, Alfa actually invented the sport sedan as we know it with the 1959 Giulietta. A mass produced car with an all aluminum DOHC engine, 5 speed synchromesh gear box and disk brakes in later iterations, which was pretty radical back then.
        56Jalopy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        I was offered an Alpha for $200.00 in 1965, did not buy because windshield was broken..Another mistake.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Rich M.
      • 1 Year Ago
      the true spawn (02/2002) of this car might come to fruition. the recent dealings with Toyota and BMW could lead into more than just technology and hopefully developing an FRS based new gen 2002. the new 1 series was supposed the new gen 2002 but it was too heavy to be a true 2002. the only thing they had in common was the length and two doors. the 1 is as flingable around a corner as a 7 series. if not, it seems toyota wants to expand the model GT86/FRS into sedans, shooting brakes and most recently a convertible.
      Cursethedawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      I realize this is going to be an extremely unpopular comment. Compared to American cars of the same era those BMW horsepower number are pathetic. America and Europe certainly had separate motivations.
        Jeff
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cursethedawn
        Keep in mind it was a fair bit lighter than most american cars. Besides, the focus wasn't on raw power and speed, but handling and driving dynamics. I owned a 1971 2002, and it really was a blast - very tossable, very predictable and forgiving when pushed. It loved to rev high and had a lot of spirit. It's a different world than say a mustang or some other muscle car from the same era. All good cars, just different.
          BG
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jeff
          Good point. Also recall that in the 1960s and 1970s, American cars lost a lot of power from body flex, suspension flex (softness), and the inefficiency of those dismal bias-ply tires that were inflated soft. The BMW was much stiffer in every way.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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