The 02 Reminiscence Concept is a modern BMW that's easy to love.
Long before the quirky BMW i3, the brand's first-ever production electric car, BMW had already made an electric vehicle when it revealed its 1602 Elektro-Antrieb in 1972 at that year's Olympic Games in Germany. The two-door electric coupe was, of course, based on the 1602, a car that helped to pave the way for the iconic 3 Series sedan we have today.
To pay tribute to the 1602 Elektro-Antrieb, designer David Obendorfer decided to create a modern interpretation called the BMW 02 Reminiscence Concept. And boy, are we glad he did. The retro-modern design seems to be a perfect combination of the best new and old BMW styling cues - and none of the worst.
At the front, round lights have been retained as on the original, along with a slim kidney grille that looks positively dainty alongside the giant mouth on the latest BMW 4 Series. From the side, there are hints of the 2 Series coupe with the Hofmeister kink right where it should be. This makes sense since the designer says the dimensions are similar to the 2 Series.
The short trunk with round taillights is an unmistakable throwback to the 1602. It looks clean, fuss-free, and yet thoroughly BMW all at the same time, proof that the brand's design team could hark back to the past without shocking us into oblivion as they've done lately.
Obendorfer didn't stop there and also created a fresh interior design. It makes just as strong of an impression as the exterior with twin digital displays and a steeply angled dashboard.
He even used a sporty three-spoke steering wheel as in the original 1602, but this is clearly a modern cockpit. Once again, though, Obendorfer sprinkles in just enough flair to keep things interesting, without trying too hard.
"I found it symbolically exciting to imagine the full electric remake of the 1602 Elektro-Antrieb that brings the BMW 2002/1602 Series design into the 21st century," said the designer on his website. Mission accomplished, we'd say.
Without a doubt, if BMW made an electric coupe like this today, we'd be thrilled. Or, even if it had a conventional powertrain and a 2 Series badge, we're sure it would do well.