The BMW 2002 two-door sedan is iconic, but it’s easy to forget that there were other body versions sold in Europe. In addition to the sweet Cabriolet built by Bauer, BMW itself also offered the -02 cars in a Touring version, which differed from the standard sedan in a number of ways beyond just the obvious rear sloping deck and hatch. r0b0tr10t shot and posted one at the Cohort, so let’s take a closer look at what was withheld from Americans, including the Cabriolets.
r0b0tr10t only shot the front and rear, so I’ll augment a bit to get a better look at the Touring, which was built from 1971 through April of 1974. Since only some 30k were sold, that probably explains why production ended sooner than might be expected.
The Touring differed in having a shorter rear end, split rear seats, and also a windshield that sloped back a bit more than the sedan’s. Obviously, it was meant to be a sporty coupe, but without sacrificing headroom and seating space. Perhaps that was also it’s shortcoming; maybe a couple of inches chop on the roof might have made it look a bit more dynamic and more coupe-like.
The Touring came in the full range of -02 engines: 1600, 1800, 2000 and 2002 ti. The ’71 and ’72 models did not have the -02 ending to their model designation; that started with 1973. Which makes this 2000 Touring either a ’71 or ’72.
Perhaps the prettiest -02 BMW is the full Cabriolet by Bauer. These are among the most sought after -02s, and command high prices today.
Bauer also built their “TC” (Top Cabriolet) version of the -02, but it was really a Targa, with a removable rear window/C pillar, and top section. Perhaps better named the BMW Laundalet? A similar Bauer Targa Cabrio was carried on into the first generation 3 Series as well. Now all we need to find is a station wagon -02.
These are terrific cars, but it wasn’t the best looking, even as a simple coupe. The fact that BMW has become the most popular leased luxury brand over the past generation of Boomers has given these cars a sheen beyond what is really there. While I wouldn’t pass up a chance to have one, I certainly couldn’t never fall in love with them based on looks alone.
The hatch just doesn’t work at all. The roofline is too high and the hatch breaks across the back, too low. This causes the proportions to be off. The standard coupe barely works, so turning it into a hatch wasn’t a good thing. Again, I wouldn’t pass up a chance to have one, but I certainly wouldn’t fight or pay what devotees would for one.
I’d probably lease one though!
At the prices going for a 2000-2002, there are other vehicles I could fall in love with more easily and longer.
That 2002 Touring looks great! Definitely one of the sportiest-looking hatchbacks of that era. I’d definitely take it over a Pinto or a Vega.
The Cabriolet and TC are equally interesting. Although I see a bit of El Camino in that TC.
Just keep in mind that it cost two to three times as much as a Pinto or Vega. You get what you pay for.
Oh of course. It’s always been that way. But from a purely stylistic standpoint, I like the Bimmer.
the convertible reminds me of a mostly forgotten film starring george c. scott and bmw 503 rag top – the last run.
Here’s one model I’ve only seen in Europe but was quickly eclipsed by it’s successor the Ur. Absolutely beautiful in person, but probably no better than any other four-ring circus mobile in the long run.
Or this high-strung beauty which I had access to a sister version while living in the UK in ’76. More tempermental than an Italian girlfriend, and only less expensive to keep.
I saw one of these a few months ago here in Seattle. Couldn’t believe it. Very cool car.
Love the hatchback. One of these days I will bring home a 2002 and risk spousal wrath, too bad it can’t be one of these. Am I the only one to see a shared resemblance with the later SAAB 900 hatch, or is it just early?
I was thinking it looked more like the early trim (and sold at the same time) Saab 99. Having owned both a 2002 and a 900 or three, I’d probably have the Saab just to avoid overheating on a slightly warm day.
Good point, the 99 works as well.
Never knew these other versions existed. BMW obviously exported only the best looking version to the U.S.A.
A rare beastie in the UK,they were all LHD and very expensive.Never seen one in the metal but I remember reading about them.
Here’s one I shot on Lombard Street in SF. Never knew it was called the “touring.”
Jalopik has a posting about the Touring from about 20 minutes ago. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?
IMO the Touring looks a full generation more modern than the -02 coupe.
If BMW were smart, they’d have made a reskinned version of the hatch shell as the basis for the E21 3-series, rather than that box of a 2-door sedan that looks like they forgot to style it. Not only that, but if the 3er were all-hatchback all the time, it would’ve spared us 10 years of small cars you couldn’t carry squat in!
…and perhaps it would have sold as well as the 318ti. Americans don’t like their premium cars to have hatches.
Imagine if BMW had turned this car into another CC fave, a two-door wagon…
It wouldn’t have taken much of a stretch (literally) — this is already hovering in the nebulous “almost a shooting brake” territory of the later Lancia Beta HPE.
“Now all we need to find is a station wagon -02”
I might be a bit dense today, but isn’t this it?
there is a handbuilt 2002 pick up in Portland.now that is unique.
For some reason, to my eyes the Touring looks more like a Fiat than a BMW. I have absolutely no idea why, other than perhaps something about the rear greenhouse reminds me of a Ritmo (known as the Strada in the U.S.).
I can’t say I ever really got the design language of those tourings – too much of a jumble of curves and straight lines. The rear end is just too angular to go with the rest of the body. I’m too lazy to look this up right now, but weren’t they partly based on a leftover design by Glas? If so, that might explain the (I think) somewhat confused design; the Glas-based, BMW-branded 1600 GT is a much more coherent effort.
Regarding the station wagon/shooting brake issue, all subsequent BMW wagons were/are called “touring”, so despite the hatchback looks, I’d say that John H is right in a way.
Minor nitpick regarding the Cabriolet/TC: I think the company that made them is called Baur (no “e”).
Never seen this body style here mind even the regular sedans are rare they were very expensive for what you got new so they didnt sell well here.