The BMW 2002 Turbo was not a sales success. To be fair, the timing of its launch could not have been worse. In '73, petrol-pump prices almost doubled, as a result of the OAPEC fuel crisis. Motorists panicked - and the 17mpg 2002 Turbo never stood a chance. BMW became very anxious, very quickly! In only the second year of its production run, the 2002 Turbo was dropped. Just 1,672 cars had been built. Bad luck, basically! In different circumstances, the 2002 Turbo may have been an automotive best-seller.
The 2002 Turbo was inspired by a BMW works racer. Its raison d'être was to breathe life back into BMW's entry-level saloon car slot. The Turbo's impressive top speed stat of 130mph was just what was required. Peak output was 170bhp. The 2-litre 4-cylinder engine was fuel-injected - and came complete with a KKK turbocharger. At low to medium revs, there was little to split the Turbo and the standard 2002. That all changed, though, at 4,500rpm. When the boost kicked in, it did so in earnest! The Turbo, though, was prepped for the extra stresses. It had beefier driveshafts and bearings than the standard model. Suspension spring rates were wound up. Bilstein dampers were fitted at the back. There were anti-roll bars, front and rear. Wheels were Mahle alloys ... wearing fat Michelin XWX tyres. The front two were stopped by 4-pot ventilated disc brakes. Big drums brought up the rear.
The 2002 Turbo's racy decals - and gleaming paint-job - dazzled onlookers, wherever it went. The interior, too, was cut from the same Seventies chic cloth. Bucket seats set the scene. The focal point was the bright-red instrument fascia. There was a turbo-boost gauge in the middle of the dash. And a thick-rimmed 3-spoke sports steering-wheel. 'Boy racer' to its core, the Turbo was the right car at the wrong time. The BMW 2002 Turbo simply could not get enough of what it needed to survive. The crippling cost of petrol at the time induced a fatal thirst from which it never recovered.