Every BMW enthusiasts has read David E. Davis’ BMW 2002 review from the April, 1968 issue of Car and Driver. Actually, almost every car enthusiast in general as read it. It’s one of the best car reviews I’ve ever read, potentially even the very best, and it’s not only the perfect example of what a car story should be but it perfectly incapsulates what BMWs are supposed to be. If you have some time this weekend to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and read this review, do so. Even if you’ve read it before.
Back in 1968, the BMW 2002 was a revelation and it blew Davis away. Not only was it surprisingly quick for its time — even though its 2.0 liter single-carbureted 114 horsepower four-cylinder wouldn’t be powerful enough to be a range-extender today — but it was smooth, handled better than anything else, comfortable, spacious, well-made, and cheap. There was a beautiful simplicity to the 2002 that just isn’t present today.
Here’s a bit from his story, proving just how good the little 2002 was: “To my way of thinking, the 2002 is one of modern civilization’s all-time best ways to get somewhere sitting down. It grabs you. You sit in magnificently-adjustable seats with great, tall windows all around you. You are comfortable and you can see in every direction. You start it. Willing and un-lumpy is how it feels. No rough idle, no zappy noises to indicate that the task you propose might be anything more than child’s play for all those 114 Bavarian superhorses.”
While the 3 Series is technically the successor to the 2002, it’s gotten so big that it really doesn’t embody the same philosophies as the 2002. Instead, the only hope we have for a modern day BMW 2002 would be the new BMW 230i. It’s relatively affordable, simple-ish looking, small, features an over-performing four-cylinder engine, and will hopefully handle better than anything else in its class. It even single-halo headlights, just like the 2002.
The BMW 2002 was and still is an icon. It redefined BMW as a brand and changed the way we look at small, premium sports coupes. So take a few minutes, enjoy that warm cup of coffee as the fall temperatures begin rolling in, and read the best review ever written about a BMW.
[Source: Car and Driver]