BMW 02 Series — Germany’s Classic Sedan

BMW 02 Series — Germany’s Classic Sedan

blue gray bmw side profile
Source: Motofutura

The BMW 02 Series is a classic car that has captured the hearts of many car enthusiasts since its introduction in the 1960s. This car was the predecessor to the BMW 3 Series and is widely considered to be one of the best sports cars ever made. The BMW 02 Series was produced from 1966 to 1977 and was available in a variety of models, those including the 1502, 1600/1602, 1802, 2000/2002, and 2002tii. In this article, we will take a closer look at the BMW 02 Series and explore why it is such a beloved classic car.

gray BMW with door open on asphalt
gray 02 series BMW front 3/4 shot on road
Restored 1968 BMW 1600
Source: Motofutura

The BMW 02 Series was introduced in 1966 as the successor to the BMW New Class. The New Class was a series of compact sedans that BMW had introduced in the early 1960s to help the company recover from financial difficulties. The New Class was a success, and BMW decided to expand the lineup by introducing a sports sedan that would be even more exciting to drive than the New Class Sedan. The result was the BMW 02 Series.

drawing of an 02 Series BMW
A technical drawing of a BMW 02 Series Sedan
Source: BMW

The BMW 02 Series was designed by Georg Bertram and Manfred Rennen under the famed BMW designer Wilhelm Hofmeister, who also designed the New Class. The design for the BMW 02 Series was sleek and sporty, with a long hood, short overhangs, and a low roofline. The car had a classic two-box design that was popular at the time and has since become an iconic look for BMW.

The BMW 02 Series was initially available in two models: the 1600 and the 2000. The 1600 had a 1.6-liter engine that produced 84 horsepower, while the 2000 had a 2.0-liter engine that produced 100 horsepower. The car was an immediate hit with car enthusiasts, who appreciated its combination of sporty handling and practicality.

black and white photo of 02 series interior
black and white photo of a BMW 02 dashboard
An instrument panel of a 2002tii fresh from the BMW plant in Germany
Source: BMW

Over the years, BMW expanded the 02 Series lineup to include a variety of models. The 1502 was introduced in 1975 as a lower-priced entry-level model, and the 1802 was introduced in 1971 as a more affordable alternative to the 2002. The 2002tii was introduced in 1971 and was the most powerful model in the lineup, with a fuel-injected 2.0-liter engine that produced 130 horsepower.

black and white photo of 2002tii BMW badge
A vintage 2002tii BMW Badge
Source: BMW

Another reason why the BMW 02 Series is a classic car is its performance. The car was designed to be a sports sedan, and it delivered on that promise. The car had a rear-wheel-drive layout, which gave it excellent handling characteristics. The car’s engines were also designed to be powerful and responsive, which made it a joy to drive.

The BMW 02 Series was also known for its reliability. BMW had established a reputation for building high-quality cars, and the 02 Series was no exception. The car was built to last, and many examples of the car are still on the road today.

BMW 02 Series on road
Restored 02 Series BMW at Bimmerfest 2018
Source: BMW

The BMW 02 Series was a successful line of compact luxury cars produced by the German automaker BMW between 1966 and 1977. The 02 Series was BMW’s first successful foray into the compact car market, and it set the foundation for the company’s future success in the segment. With its stylish design, excellent handling, and powerful engines, the 02 Series quickly became popular among drivers who sought a sporty and practical car. Today, the BMW 02 Series is regarded as a classic and is highly sought after by car collectors and enthusiasts. Whether you appreciate its history, design, or driving experience, the BMW 02 Series remains an iconic car that continues to capture the imagination of car enthusiasts worldwide.

orange BMW on car lift in garage
orange BMW 02 Series car on car lift in garage
Reproduction of BMW 2002 tii in the “Glass Workshop” BMW Museum at the Olympic Tower Munich 2005 Source: BMW
GRAY 02 series BMW on asphalt
The timeless BMW 1600 Sedan a classic even in today’s standard
Source: BMW

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