Why do the best looking concepts never make it to market?
In the postwar-era BMW, like the rest of Germany, was in trouble. But in 1966 the Bavarian brand debuted the 2002, arguably one of the best cars of its time. It was practical, sporty, a great driver's car, and was cheap. These characteristics remained with BMW, and despite recently departing from its roots the personality of the 2002 is what the 3 Series attempted to mimic after the model's final go in 1977. In 1973 the 2002 Turbo debuted as the first series-produced vehicle from Europe with a turbocharger.
Now 50 years after the 2002’s first sighting BMW is paying homage to this revolutionary car at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The prestigious event, which just saw the unveiling of the beautiful Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato, is held in Cernobbio, Italy, and visitors there will be treated to the rest of BMW’s recent homage cars including the 3.0 CSL Concept and the M1 Homage Concept. The 2002 Turbo Homage Concept is based off of the M2, which is the best choice for representing the original 2002 because its size, handling characteristics, and twin-turbocharged engine technology do well to recall the original. Even though the M2’s profile lacks many similarities to the 2002 there are some notable features that are reminiscent of the classic.
These would be the yellow tinted headlights, a forward tilting “shark nose” front end, and a sharp hood crease in the middle. Aside from that, the 2002 Homage looks bloated compared to the 2002 in part because it wears large extended wheel arches with bulging vent tunnels. Despite the questionable similarities to the 2002, we think the Homage looks great. Unfortunately BMW wants nothing more from the concept. Just like the 3.0 CLS Homage the car will not be sold and no design cues will make it to existing or future BMW models. It’s really a shame because this concept has the same drivetrain as the M2. With the looks to kill and a proven driveline and chassis combination, a 2002 Homage would be an epic vehicle to own.