The BMW 2002 is an icon of car design history and the 2002 turbo is pure, unadulterated automotive nirvana. So how do you pay tribute to such a revered nameplate? By creating an homage vehicle of course.
As part of its continued ‘Next 100 Years’ celebrations, BMW decided to create the 2002 Hommage on the 50th anniversary of the original and show it off at Villa d’Este today.
“Exactly 50 years ago, the 02 range kick-started an era of success for BMW. This compact coupe is one of the vehicles which made the brand what it is today,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.
The latest 2002 Hommage joins the ranks of concepts that have celebrated BMW’s lineage along with other models in the brand’s storied history – cars like the BMW M1 Hommage concept (2008), the 328 Hommage (2011), the Mille Miglia concept (2006) and last year’s BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage (2015). The new showcar celebrates the feats of engineering behind the BMW 2002 turbo and re-imagines them as a modern day design study.
“The eye-catching design of the BMW 2002 Hommage employs a very dynamic, striking use of forms for its own take on what is, for me, one of the most iconic vehicles in BMW history,” says Karim Habib, Head of Design BMW Automobiles.
“At the same time, it encapsulates BMW’s major motorsport triumphs, which were made possible by turbo technology. As such, the Hommage car brings together the past and future of BMW into a confident statement of unadulterated driving joy.”
The front end of the BMW 2002 Hommage combines the characteristic, horizontal graphic of the 02 range with BMW’s modern design elements. The familiar BMW kidney grille is low and wide, with its black double bars offering a flesh slant on the kidneys’ historical rendering as a cohesive design element.
Like the 2002, the Hommage concept has two single headlights at each corner. Reflectors — whose gold coloring is a pointer to the ‘golden’ 50th anniversary of the BMW 2002’s launch — border the headlights and reprise the yellow hue commonly found in the lamps of racing cars back in the day.
An unbroken black strip creates a fitting visual platform for the kidneys and headlights, bringing together the stylistic elements of the front end and underlining the car’s wide stance. As a nod to its ancestor, the 2002 Hommage’s turn signal repeaters are separate from the headlights and embedded into a full-width carbon strip above.
Powerful wheelarches, which conceal its wide track and 20-inch multi-spoke bi-color alloys that recall racing wheels of a bygone era, visually frame the front end. The hood design references the ‘spear’ contour stretching down the center of the 02 models, swelling slightly into a surround for the BMW logo as it approaches the kidney grille.
The large front apron, a stylistic nod to the models of the 1970s, shortens the visual distance between the BMW 2002 Hommage and the road, emphasizing its driver focus.
The BMW Motorsport livery of the front apron and its ‘turbo’ lettering in mirror writing is also a reference to the original decals of the 2002 turbo, as is the exterior mirror cap on the driver’s side. Exposed carbon accent surfaces provide a technically alluring contrast to the body-colored surfaces.
The low silhouette of the BMW 2002 Hommage, compact proportions, long wheelbase, short overhangs and prominent ‘shark nose’ front end, promise a thrilling driving experience, while aerodynamic details – such as of air intakes and spoilers – aim to optimize airflow around the car and maximize downforce.
Inspired by the signature chrome strip that ringed the 02 in its day, a horizontal carbon band wraps itself around the shoulderline of the 2002 Hommage concept and splits the body visually into separate sections. The upper tranche of roof, hood and decklid has matte paintwork to prevent reflection of the sun’s rays – in a reference to historic racing cars.
The body’s lines are minimalist, drawn and flowing in nature. The lower section creates a definite contrast, with its high-gloss paintwork and bold, sculptural surfaces. The distinctive lines that infuse the flanks with a contemporary flavor draw the eye to the driven rear wheels.
The Space Race Metal paintwork drapes itself over the car like liquid metal. In both its matte and gloss form, the light metallic blue finish changes in appearance from a brightly fluorescent blue to grey, depending on the incidence of light, and lends the surfacing a sense of depth.
A particularly striking feature of the car’s bodyside are the voluminous wheelarches, which frame the body like four brackets. They are said to recall the homologated version of the BMW 2002 turbo, which needed broad extensions bolted onto its body to accommodate a significantly wider track. The Hommage car integrates this detail with clear dedication to the job at hand.
The rear-end design of the 2002 Hommage also calls on elements of the 2002 turbo. The horizontal sub-division of the car’s generous surfaces and its clear lines make a width-emphasizing statement, laced with modern feel.
The rear lights forms are also inspired by the same historical blueprint. The almost rectangular lights — with contemporary black-panel glass covers — only offer a view of the inner workings when the lights illuminate. All you can see when they are dormant is an unbroken black surface. As at the front of the car, this strengthens the impression of a strip wrapped around the car and serves as a graphical border for the DRG.
The BMW logo to the right of the license plate between the two rear lights is likewise a characteristic element of 02’s rear design. The muscular wheelarches bookend the rear section and accentuate the wide track, while precise spoiler lips bring a modern edge to the car’s detailing. A carbon diffuser integrates the now familiar two sets of twin exhaust tailpipes and wraps up the rear styling with a sporting aesthetic.
BMW’s interpretation of the legendary 2002 adopts the form of a compact sports coupe whilst referencing iconic elements of the original — in the tradition of the company’s Hommage cars. Though it’s perhaps overly gratuitous in this regard (and arguably brutal in its execution), the BMW 2002 Hommage accurately represents the aggressive aesthetic of modern day performance cars. It’s a statement of how pure driving pleasure is visually defined in 2016.