BMW is quite famous for its gorgeous Hommage concepts, concept cars designed to re-imagine some of the brand’s classic cars of the past. Most recently was its BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, which was a modern take on the 3.0 CSL race car of the ’70s. Well, BMW has created a new Hommage Concept, one that is quite possibly the most important of any the brand has done so far — the BMW 2002 Hommage.
The original BMW 2002 is one of the most important cars in the brand’s entire 100 year history, and many could argue that it is the single most important car for BMW. The 2002 cemented BMW into the automotive sport sedan world and launched the Bavarian brand into super-stardom. The original BMW 2002 eventually became the world-famous BMW 3 Series, a car that continues to be the most important car in BMW’s lineup. So the 2002 is a very important car for BMW and honoring it is a tough task. However, it’s one BMW seems to have succeeded with this 2002 Hommage Concept.
The concept is actually based on the BMW 2002 Turbo, the very first production car to come from Europe with turbocharging technology. So BMW has decided to honor the 2002 Turbo with this Hommage, a concept that BMW feels does the 2002 Turbo justice.
“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 2002 sat at the top of the range and was the first series-produced car anywhere in Europe to come with turbo technology. That set the seal on the coupe as a genuine sports car. At the same time, the 2002 turbo was at the technological vanguard of engine development at BMW. The BMW 2002 Hommage is our way of raising a glass to all these achievements.”
The current BMW M2 is said to evoke some of the spirit of the 2002 Turbo, so naturally the 2 Series was a good place to start. This BMW 2002 Hommage is clearly based on the 2er, but does an excellent job at bringing the 2002 Turbo to mind. Without even having prior knowledge to what this concept was based on, it still would remind us of the classic BMW 2002 Turbo. The massive chin spoiler, the single-circle yellow-tinted headlights and the horizontal carbon band down the side, which mimics the 2002’s chrome band, all bring back images of the 2002 Turbo. Even the hood has a similar design, with three bulging lines that run north and south, one at either side and one down the middle.
“The BMW 2002 is one of the most iconic models in BMW history for me,” said Karim Habib, Head of Design BMW Automobiles. “The eye-catching design of the BMW 2002 Hommage employs a dynamic, striking use of forms to offer its own take on the sassy, almost brash character of the 2002 turbo. As such, the Hommage car brings together the past and future of BMW into a confident statement of unadulterated driving joy.”
But this 2002 Hommage concept isn’t all just pretty body work to bring back memories of a classic favorite. There’s some legitimate aerodynamics at work, here. The front chin spoiler isn’t just there to look cool, it provides real downforce to the front end and those massively flared wheel arches also channel air through them and aren’t just there to look like the 2002 Turbo’s. The big rear wing is also there for aerodynamic purposes and, coincidentally, also reminds us of the E46 M3 CSL’s rear wing.
But one of the best parts about the BMW 2002 Hommage is how it replaces many of the design cues of the original 2002 Turbo and its era with design cues of today. For instance, that aforementioned carbon band that runs down the side not only mimicks the chrome band from the 2002 Turbo, but shows us the materials used for each era. Chrome was heavily used as a design cue back in the day, whereas today it’s all about carbon fiber. It’s little touches like that that make the 2002 Hommage so special. That and it looks flipping brilliant.
The bulging fenders are dramatic and sharp in their extension from the body, almost as if they were added on after the car was designed, which is done intentionally to evoke the bolt-on fender flares of the 2002 Turbo, which were added for homologation purposes after widening the wheel track. The M-colored stripes inside the lower spoiler of the 2002 Hommage bring back visions of the same colored stripes on the lower chin spoiler of the original 2002. If you look closely, the turn signals of the 2002 Hommage are located separately, above the headlights, and are embedded into the horizontal carbon band, just like on the original.
At the rear, the somewhat squarish headlights are reminiscent of the 2002 Turbo’s and there’s even a BMW Roundel to the right of the license plate, just like BMW’s of old. The only major departure from the original at the back is the addition of quad exhaust tips housed in a carbon fiber diffuser, whereas the original only had one exhaust and no diffuser at all.
The Space Race Metal paintwork is beautiful and combines both matte and gloss finishes for the light blue metallic color. The matte finish adorns the top section of the car, separated by that carbon band, including the roof, hood and trunk lid, which references old-school racing cars as the matte finish doesn’t reflect sun rays. The lower section of the car has a gloss finish, which wonderfully contrasts the matte finish above. Both the matte and the gloss finish change in appearance from a brightly fluorescent blue to grey, depending on the light. While the choice not to go with white, like the original, is interesting, this Space Race Metal color is simply gorgeous and one I wish BMW would offer on all M cars.
The BMW 2002 Turbo is one of the all time greats, with a figurative bust already in the automotive hall of fame, and this BMW 2002 Hommage concept really evokes the spirit that car’s design. It looks gorgeous and combines the designs of old with the designs of new in a way that seems harmonious and fluid. It’s a remarkable achievement and another great Hommage design concept for BMW to add to its already impressive stable.