Bim­mer builds a 2002 for 2016

Drops styling hints and clues to fu­ture M2-based mod­els

Motor (Australia) - - THE NEWS - by GE­ORG KACHER

BMW used the re­cent Con­corso Villa d’Este in north­ern Italy to re­veal its lat­est con­cept car, the 2002 Hom­mage, which pays trib­ute to the piv­otal 02 range launched 50 years ago. It was dis­played along­side a 2002 Turbo.

Im­por­tantly, this con­cept car isn’t a de­signer’s self-in­dul­gent, other-worldly flight of fan­tasy and looks more than a lit­tle pro­duc­tion-ready. The com­pany has ad­mit­ted that the car­bon-fi­bre adorned one-off is based on an M2, fu­elling spec­u­la­tion that at least some of the parts show­cased on the dis­play car might even­tu­ally make it into M-Sport op­tions lists. Un­der the bon­net is the M2’s twin-turbo 3.0tame litre six, sat­is­fy­ingly un-si­lenced.

The Hom­mage rolls on en­tirely fea­si­ble 20-inch rims wear­ing pro­duc­tion low-pro­file Miche­lin Pi­lot Sport Cup 2 rub­ber (245/30 on the front and 295/30 at the rear).

An ex­posed car­bon-fi­bre beltline mim­ics the chrome trim of its fa­mous fore­bear; above the line the con­cept wears matte paint, with a gloss blue be­low. Sin­gle golden head­lamps re­flect both the mon­ster front brake calipers – and also BMW’s golden past in mo­tor­sport – while ‘eye­brow’ in­di­ca­tors are also a nod to the orig­i­nal 2002. Fur­ther ap­ing its fore­bearer, a dra­matic front split­ter and equally dra­matic flares and skirts be­lie a rear and an ap­par­ently bog-stock in­te­rior treat­ment – lend­ing fur­ther cred­i­bil­ity to the sug­ges­tion that the ex­te­rior is a cor­po­rate toe dipped into the swirling wa­ters of cus­tomer ap­proval.

The orig­i­nal 02 mod­els were light, nim­ble and wieldy; when fit­ted with a 2.0-litre en­gine to cre­ate the 2002, they quickly be­came pop­u­lar with rac­ers around the world, launch­ing BMW onto the mo­tor­sport stage with an early form of fuel in­jec­tion. Hans Stuck won the Nur­bur­gring 24-Hour in a 2002. In 1973, a tur­bocharged 2002 ap­peared, be­com­ing ar­guably the first suc­cess­ful blown pro­duc­tion car, although thanks to the ’73 oil

cri­sis, only 1672 were built.

With the 2002 Hom­mage con­cept, BMW clev­erly leans on the roots of its rac­ing her­itage and also points to the fu­ture, cel­e­brat­ing not only the 50th an­niver­sary of its mo­tor­sport begin­nings but the com­pany’s 100th birth­day too. Also on dis­play in Italy were sev­eral other con­cept cars from the re­cent past, yet none have proven to be much more than at­ten­tion­grab­bing styling ex­er­cises.

De­spite this, we know BMW will re­veal at least one more Hom­mage car next year. Whether that will be an open-top grand tourer along the lines of the 503 and 507, a re­cre­ation of the low-vol­ume 1800 TI/SA based on the new 5-series, a 21st cen­tury re­make of the BMW’s very first post-WW2 car, the 501 lux­ury sa­loon from the 1950s, or an all-new elec­tric-pow­ered bub­ble car un­der the Isetta badge, re­mains to be seen.

That the 2002 Hom­mage con­cept was penned by the Cana­dian head of BMW de­sign, Karim

Habib him­self, lends cred­i­bil­ity to sug­ges­tions that the car might, in part or in whole, be made avail­able to buy­ers within the next few years.

We do know there def­i­nitely will be a 300kW-plus M2 CS which will in­deed de­rives some more ag­gres­sive styling from the Villa d´Este show­piece.

Pro­por­tions a nod to Wil­helm Hofmeis­ter, BMW’s de­sign chief from 1955-70, whose fa­mous kink at the trail­ing edge of the rear win­dow is still an in­te­gral part of the brand’s DNA

The shark nose front end pro­file, the black-panel tail­lights and the M2 glasshouse all take the 02 theme to the next level

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