2002 Love. Its easy to fall in love with these little cars. Ever wondered how BMW got its reputation for making “The Ultimate Driving Machines”? How they are known for making the BEST sports sedans in the world? Well the 2002 is the car that made BMW what it is today. In the 60’s BMW designed an amazing little car. It has a workhorse of an engine, the M10. It has a modern suspension. It has amazing brakes. It has a classic design that has stayed gorgeous like a middle aged supermodel.
The engine is a workhorse. It has a power output ranging from 95hp in the 1600 cc version all the way to 1300. YES 1300 in the F1 BMW Turbo M12 engine based on the M10 engine. The first M3 engine, the S14 was so closely related to the M10 that people have swapped in the S14 in the 2002 to make their own “M2”. 250 HP in a 2200 pound chassis makes a vintage rocket ship with modern performance.
The chassis with its independent rear suspension and macpherson struts means the car is GLUED to the road. In my first 2002, with 195/50/15 BF Goodrich Euro TA’s I couldnt get the car to slide out in the dry, it was that good.
The brakes in the 2002 are again top notch and because they can be easily upgraded, they can be even better!
So what does all this mean? It means it puts a HUGE smile on my face every time I drive it! A well tuned, proper running 2002 is a joy to drive. Its balanced, comfortable, easy to drive hard and has a very capable power plant, especially with high compression pistons, hot spark, big carbs or fuel injection and a nice cam. My car is probably in the 125-135 hp range and with dual carbs closer to 150hp. Not too bad at all. The other thing I LOVE about this car is its a tuners dream car. BMW designed this car in the 60s and they used parts that were compatible with the 2002 until the 80s…thats 20 years worth of parts! In my car, I have a newer 5 series starter for high torque, you can use e21 320 brakes, 5 speed, seats, limited slip differential, radiators, and so on. The E30 3 series can be used for engines and transmissions, fuel injection systems, trunk battery cables, interior, wheels…you get the point. Parts form the 80s can easily bolt onto the 2002 for an upgrade and update. This makes parts cheap and readily available. Pretty cool for a 60s era car!