How BMW became what it is

How BMW became what it is

New class and series 02 revive the company BMW in the years of stagnation and not only lay the foundations for the third and fifth series, but also provide fresh and solid finances for their creation. Driving a 2002 BMW, carefully prepared by the BMW Group Classic.

Situated among its contemporary heirs, it awaits us in the middle of the vast space behind the BMW Museum and the four-cylinder office building. Its sky-blue color stands out even more against the background of thick gray clouds and pouring rain. This BMW 2002 tii, owned by the BMW Group Classic and born in 1973, may look a little like its successors, but in practice it is a large model that contributes significantly to their existence. Because it was in the 60s that the introduction of the 1500/1800/2000 sedan from BMW's new class and the two-door models 1602 and 2002 forced BMW to break out of a long-standing financial quagmire and take a quick step forward to get there. Where is he now. It is the solid sales of these models that provide funds for the construction of the four-cylinder building in question. And it is these models that become the prototypes of today's fifth and third series.

The formal harmony of 2002 is captivating at first sight and retains its appeal in all other respects. Although it was designed to be more affordable than a four-door sedan, it surpasses it with its unique airiness, in which the trapezoidal shapes are perfectly synchronized and fit perfectly into the low line of the windows and side folds of this temporary style. Chevrolet Corveyr. In this model, BMW is already using an architecture with a very short front overhang, which is not only stylistically, but also functional. The year 2002 embodied all the classic values ​​that will be most fully expressed in the third series.

It is impossible to start until we take a look under the hood, but it turns out to be a real ritual that in itself can drive you into ecstasy. The procedure involves pulling out a long lever, which offers some pretty serious resistance, and activating a complex mechanism, which in turn rotates an entire shaft with cams and clamps that secure the cover. So German is the first thought that comes to mind. The engine compartment glows with cleanliness, like the surrounding streets, everything is arranged like a thread. Transparent pipes and a piston fuel pump immediately identify the second i in the abbreviation of the model - the four-cylinder M10 engine, known for its reliability and dynamic qualities, is equipped with a mechanical Kugelfischer fuel injection system. With its 130 hp this is the most powerful version with atmospheric filling of 2002 (turbo engine of 2002 - from another planet) and is produced until the very end of the lineup. I also want to look below - the entire bottom of the car is carefully treated with a black anti-corrosion coating, and there are two studs on both sides of the differential. BMW's decision to use this type of rear axle is critical - independent suspension at a time when almost all cars in this class use a rigid axle is one of the main culprits in popular road behavior. Another foundation on which BMW will build its image. Only later will I find on the pages of Motor Klassik, a subsidiary of auto motor und sport, photos of the same BMW 2002 tii in 2006 materials. It turns out while many of the new cars launched this year are already out of date. these eight years have left no marks on the car and the blue coupe looks as healthy as it did then. Good review for BMW Group Classic representatives. Let's see if he moves like that.

The essence of BMW

The door clicks in some mysterious way, and you realize that you want to open and close it over and over again. It may seem a little crazy to those around you, so I prefer to focus on the ignition key. Even before I heard the starter, the engine came to life. Like the whole of 2002. Classic cars want to be driven. With a long stay in garages and hallways, varnish can accumulate on the sheets, but every fan will tell you that a car is revived when, after parking, it accumulates kilometers behind it.

This fully applies to our BMW. Ridiculously compared to today, the little chrome wipers seem to caress the glass and are definitely losing the battle with a thick layer of water. The sound of water in the wings creates a feeling of some forgotten immediacy, and the drops of water make the sheets resonate. However, the engine spins in a whirlwind - the creation of Baron Alex von Falkenhausen still commands respect, a well-maintained car absorbs gas with bait and has its 130 hp. They seem to have no problem with the relatively light coupe. According to the documents, the maximum speed is 190 km / h, acceleration to 100 km / h in 9,5 seconds. It is no coincidence that this particular unit became the basis for the creation of racing turbo versions with a capacity of more than 1000 hp. Can anyone boast of this? After all, this is 1973. And above all - the height of the oil crisis.

We leave through the gate and drive along the motorway to the palaces of the Bavarian kings and the history of Bavaria. Along the way and into the past, BMW, which created the present of the concern ...

Back to history

In the late 50s, BMW was far from its current reputation and could not compete with Mercedes-Benz is the same as now. While the German economic miracle is already underway, BMW has no economic record to boast. Motorcycle sales are steadily declining due to rapid economic development as people are starting to turn to cars. Just a few years earlier, in the year 30, BMW motorcycle sales fell from 000 1957 to 5400. A year later, the prestigious 3,2-liter sedan known as the Baroque Angel appeared. symbolic 564 cars were sold. The situation is even worse with the great sports 503 and the more compact 507, which sold a total of 98. The Isetta microcar and its extended version with a side door can boast a little more success. However, this seems strange - in the range of the brand there is a huge gap between microcars and luxury models. In fact, the relatively small manufacturer at the time, BMW, did not have a more mainstream model. A compact 700 for those years can only partially correct the situation. Obviously, in order for the company to survive, it is necessary to do something fundamentally new.

It was born thanks to the efforts of BMW's largest shareholder at the time, Herbert Quant. Being very interested in the development of the company, he invited shareholders to invest in creating a completely new model. He also symbolically suggests the name Neue Klasse.

One way or another, the necessary money was raised, and Alex von Falkenhausen's team set about developing a new engine. Thus was born the famous M10, which will become an iconic engineering creation for the brand. The project manager from the development level established the possibility of increasing the cylinder diameter and increasing the engine volume, which in the original version was only 1,5 liters.

New class

BMW's "New Class" debuted at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the model was simply called the 1500. The reaction of people is also very clear and definite - the interest in the car is incredible and in just three months, until the end of 1961. , Received 20 requests. However, it took a full year to fix the structural problems with the bodywork, and the car became a reality in the second half of 1962. It is a "new class", but puts BMW on new rails by orienting the brand to its dynamic character. The main contribution to this is made by the reliable sports engine with an aluminum head and independent suspension of four wheels. Thanks to New Class in 1963, the company became profitable again and is now one of the major players. The growth in demand forced BMW to create more powerful versions - this is how the 1963 model was born in 1800 (actually a displacement of 1,733 liters) with an increase from 80 to 90 hp. power. An interesting nuance in history is that it is in this turmoil that Alpina is being built, which begins to improve the already sold 1500 models for customers who feel damaged. BMW continues to develop the series with a more powerful 1800 TI version with two twin Weber carburettors and 110 hp. In 1966 the BMW 2000/2000 TI became a fact, and in 1969 the 2000 tii with fuel injection. In 1972, the latter already accounted for the lion's share of sales. So, we come to the heart of the story, or how “our” 2002 was born.

02: success code

If we go back a bit, we will see that even with the advent of the 1500, there is still an empty niche in the BMW lineup. The 700 has a very different design and relatively small size, so the company decided to create a model based on the new sedan, but with a more affordable price. So in 1966 the two-door coupe 1600-2 was born (a pair is the designation of both doors), which later became the direct 1602. Soon there was a more powerful 1600 ti version with two carburettors and 105 hp. Basically the model is based on the sedan, but has a significantly modified front and rear styling and is the work of the company designer Wilhelm Hofmeister (in honor of whom the famous "Hofmeister bend" on the rear column). Since 1600, a serious competitor to the then legendary models appears on the market Alfa Romeowhich, however, besides the combination of grace and sporty styling, offers unique behavior with its independent suspension with sloping rear wheels and MacPherson struts in front. However, according to the company's historians, a more powerful 2002 would hardly have been born if a strange story had not happened. Or rather, a strange coincidence - the creator of the M10, Alex von Falkenhausen, installed a two-liter 1600 unit for himself in a coupe. At almost the same time, Planning Director Helmut Werner Bensch is doing the same. These facts became known to both of them when their cars accidentally ended up in one of the BMW workshops. Naturally, they both decide that this is a good reason to propose a similar model to the governing bodies. It will be the main bargaining chip for the brand's planned overseas offensive. US BMW dealer Max Hoffman is adding fuel to the fire, who also believes that the more powerful version will be a success in the United States. So 2002 was born, which in 1968 received a more powerful version of the 2002 TI with 120 hp, and in September of the same year a model appeared that we met some time ago - the 2002 tii with the aforementioned Kugelfischer injection system. Later, on the basis of these models, the Baur convertible and the Touring series with a large rear cover were born.

For BMW, the 02 series also played the role of a huge marketing launch vehicle, and its success was greater than that of the original New Class. By the end of 1977, the total number of cars produced of this type reached 820, and the company received the necessary funds to invest in the creation of the first representatives of the third and fifth series.

End of a beautiful day

All this definitely makes me treat this car with special respect and attention. But it looks like he doesn't want to skimp. Each throttle is followed by a sharp thrust on the coupe, which weighs just 1030 kg. Of course, there is no brutal and sharp Turbo grip, but the absence of restrictions on the German track does not interfere with the bike, and a constant speed of 160 km / h is quite natural. Unfortunately, we have a copy from the versions with a four-speed gearbox (five-speed was offered as an option), which is definitely not the best solution. Although the lever comes into its positions tightly and pleasantly, the gearbox definitely torments the engine, which is forced to constantly work at high revs. In addition to the increased noise, this is accompanied by a specific directness of the reactions, which, unfortunately, when the pedal is released, leads to an equally specific sharp braking torque. It is no coincidence that most of the modern counterparts in 2002 have twice as many programs.

The real temptation of this car is on the beautiful and scenic back roads of Germany. The thin steering wheel may not be in harmony with the character of the car, but the lack of power steering is hardly felt. And the suspension is the suspension! Apparently, BMW engineers worked so hard to create it that even now it can be a benchmark for dynamic behavior. Let's not forget that it performs so well, even though the car is fitted with tall 13-inch tires that are just 165mm wide (which doesn't look small, though, and doesn't compromise on visual dynamics!).

It was a really wonderful day. Not only because of the privilege and pleasure of being behind the wheel of this car, but also because of its amazing ability to bring me back to the origins of the brand. Maybe now I understand her a little better. The blue 2002 tii is back in place, and although it has driven nearly 400 km in the pouring rain, there is not a speck of dirt on its leaves. After all, he moves to his native Germany.

BMW Group Classic

BMW recently returned to its roots by buying the old plant from Knorr Bremse, where it began producing aircraft engines two years after its founding. This is where the company's new Classic Center is located.

BMW Group Classic inherited BMW Mobile Tradition in 2008. Launched in 1994, Mobile Tradition aims to join forces to restore and preserve the company's legacy and the vast array of existing models. According to BMW, the number of "historic" cars with blue and white propellers reaches 1 million, to which should be added at least 300 motorcycles. To this end, the company intensively cooperates with various clubs. Anyone looking to rebuild their car can count on a complete service from a single source. The center possesses vast theoretical and practical know-how for models, has a huge number of original BMW parts and the necessary infrastructure for repairs. This is a business that is getting bigger and probably more profitable. The BMW Group Classic currently has a stock of 40 units and can rebuild almost any car. To demonstrate this fact, a few years ago, employees created the 2002 tii from scratch and with only inventory, and even made an unworked but unused raw case.

If parts or devices are not available, they may be manufactured by BMW or by agreement with the supplier. One example: if a 3.0 CSi owner wants to replace their manual transmission with an automatic, BMW can do so, although this model has never been offered with such a transmission. However, since on the basis of the drawings, pilot variants with an automatic transmission have been designed, to which the designers have unlimited access, the customer can order the development of such an option. As long as he can afford it. The work is divided by activity: at the Dingolfing plant they deal with the bodywork and paintwork, in Munich they are responsible for the mechanics, at BMW Motorsport and M GmbH they take over the M models. BMW has also signed a number of contracts with specialist companies to which they provide the necessary documentation for production activities. And for those looking to look for parts for their BMW, there is the BMW Classic Online Shop. The company can find everything about your car, and based on a huge database of documentation, they try to ensure maximum reliability.

Text: Georgy Kolev

technical detailsBMW 2002 tii, Type E114, 1972

Engine Four-cylinder, four-stroke, water-cooled in-line engine, aluminum alloy cylinder head, gray cast iron block tilted at 30 degrees, five main bearings, forged crankshaft, one in-head camshaft driven by a chain, V-figurative arrangement of valves, working volume 1990 cm3, power 130 HP at 5800 rpm, max. torque 181 Nm @ 4500 rpm, compression ratio 9,5: 1, mechanical fuel injection Fugu fisherman, with a crankshaft belt driven pump.

Energy transfer Rear-wheel drive, four-speed, optional five-speed manual transmission, limited slip differential

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