When the 02 Series arrived in 1966, it had to make do with a puny 1.6-liter engine producing 84 horsepower. Subsequent derivatives pushed output to a three-figure digit, culminating with the 2002 Turbo and its 168 ponies. This heavily modified race car packs way more punch since it uses a Formula 2-spec engine.

It’s the M12/7 dialed to a whopping 321 hp, or almost four times the power of the base 02 model. A new video shot during the Hill Climb Rechberg 2024 event in Austria shows Mario Minichberger piloting the rev-happy machine. This naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine sends power to the wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. It screams to over 10,000 rpm and weighs as little as 810 kilograms (1,785 pounds) thanks to a carbon fiber body.

The tricked-out BMW 2002 looks as if it’s glued to the road with close to no ground clearance after fitting a custom KW suspension. It was stripped to the essentials to save weight while adding a full roll cage and a giant rear wing for extra downforce. That massive front spoiler could easily double as a snowplow while the dual center-exit exhaust is plain cool.

Because the 2002 is a diminutive BMW, parts of the footage make it look like it’s a slot car. It’s especially true when the camera zooms out, but that soundtrack unquestionably belongs to an NA engine. This is truly a blast from the past before forced induction and electrification took over. It’s great to see these historic cars are still going strong decades later.

BMW phased out the 02 Series in 1977, two years after the 3 Series E21 had been launched. Fast forward to more recent times, the 2015 2002 Hommage and 2016 2002 Hommage Turbomeister debuted as modern-day equivalents. However, there weren’t any plans to put them into production.

With 837,038 cars built over the years, the 02 remains one of the most successful BMW products. Its legacy is continued not just by owners of road cars, but also by people who race these extreme builds.

Source: Hill Climb Fans / YouTube