Ignition - - Bmw Turns 100 Into Revolution -

rom the 2002, the world’s first true sports sedan to the world-renowned high-per­for­mance M line and the plug-in i8 su­per­car, BMW in­no­va­tion has taken many forms over the past cen­tury. The Mu­nich-based com­pany fu­els the imag­i­na­tion of en­thu­si­asts and chal­lenges com­peti­tors with a lengthy list of ground-break­ing prod­ucts that at­tack con­ven­tion and push bound­aries. With so many fine ex­am­ples from which to choose, we’ll fo­cus on the three that adorn our cover: the 2002, the M2 and the Vi­sion Next 100. While ev­ery­one seems to be vy­ing for a piece of the sports sedan mar­ket these days, that was def­i­nitely not the case when the 2002 de­buted in 1968.

Pow­ered by 2.0-litre, sin­gle car­bu­re­tor, 4-cylin­der en­gine mated to a 4-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, the two-door 2002 pumped out 99 hp and 116 lb-ft. of torque in base form and drew rave re­views for its brak­ing, ac­cel­er­a­tion and han­dling prow­ess. The 2002 was a run­away suc­cess that would even­tu­ally lead to the birth of the famed 3-Se­ries sedan in 1975.

Skip­ping ahead four decades, the 2016 M2 car­ries on the per­for­mance lin­eage the 2002 be­gan with a twin-tur­bocharged in­line 3.0-litre 6-cylin­der en­gine that pro­duces a prodi­gious 365 horse­power and 343 lb-ft. of torque. Avail­able with ei­ther a 6-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion or a 7-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic (DCT), the rear-wheel drive M2 is ca­pa­ble of go­ing from 0-100 km/h time of 4.3 sec­onds when equipped with the DCT.

Fi­nally, BMW gives us a glimpse of what the next 100 years of in­no­va­tion might hold with the re­veal of the BMW Vi­sion Next 100, a con­cept ca­pa­ble of full au­ton­o­mous driv­ing. With this mode se­lected, the car can com­mu­ni­cate not only with its oc­cu­pants but with pedes­tri­ans and other motorists. The Vi­sion Next 100 is also pow­ered by a zero-emis­sion pow­er­train.

While oth­ers some­times strug­gle to build a brand iden­tity that rings true, BMW’S ‘Ul­ti­mate Driv­ing Ma­chine’ feels less like a slo­gan and more like a call to ac­tion.

With that in mind, cheers to BMW and here’s to another 100 years.

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