BMW New Class

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BMW New Class
BMW 2002 2-door.jpg
BMW 2002 (US)
Manufacturer BMW
Production 1962–1977
Assembly Munich, Germany
Jakarta, Indonesia (Gaya Motor)
Body and chassis
Class Compact executive car
Layout FR layout
Engine BMW M10 OHC I4
Successor BMW 3 Series
BMW 5 Series

The BMW New Class (German: Neue Klasse) was a line of compact sedans and coupes produced by German automaker BMW between 1962 and 1977. The New Class ensured BMW's solvency after the company's financial crises of the 1950s and established the identity of BMW automobiles as sports sedans. The term New Class referred to the 1.5–2–liter class of automobiles from which BMW had been absent since World War II.

The New Class began in 1962 with the 1500, a new automobile with a new engine. The 1500, and all subsequent New Class cars, had unitary construction, fully independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and semi-trailing arms at the rear, front disc brakes, and a front-mounted four-cylinder M10 engine.

Initially a series of four-door sedans, the New Class line was broadened to include the 2000C and 2000CS two-door coupes at the high end in 1965 and the 1600-2 two-door economy sedan at the low end in 1966. The 1600-2, later renamed the 1602, was itself expanded into the 02 Series 1600-2/1602 and 2002. Using the engine and suspension of the original four-door design in a smaller and lighter two-door unit body, the 02 series, especially the 2002, caught auto enthusiasts' attention and established BMW as an international brand.

Replacement of the New Class line of cars began with the larger 2000C and 2000CS coupés, which were replaced by the six-cylinder BMW E9 starting with the 2800CS in 1969. The New Class four-door sedans were replaced by the larger BMW 5 Series in 1972. The 02 Series was replaced by the BMW 3 Series in 1975, except for the economy 1502 model which continued until 1977.



During the 1950s, BMW made luxury cars with displacements of two litres or greater, economy cars powered by motorcycle engines, and motorcycles. With their luxury cars becoming increasingly outdated and unprofitable and their motorcycles and economy cars becoming less attractive to an increasingly affluent society, BMW needed a car in the 1.5 to 2 litre class to become competitive. Prototypes powered by a 1.6 L engine based on one bank of the BMW OHV V8 engine were built and evaluated without a convincing result.[1]

In 1960, Herbert and Harald Quandt invested heavily in BMW, and gained a controlling interest in the company.[2] That year, the "Neue Klasse" project was begun. Led overall by Fritz Fiedler, the project had Eberhard Wolff in charge of chassis design, Wilhelm Hofmeister in charge of styling and body engineering, and Alex von Falkenhausen in charge of engine design.[3] The team was to produce a new car with a new engine; BMW had not done this since the 303 in 1933.

The prototype was introduced in September 1961 at the Frankfurt Motor Show as the BMW 1500 four-door saloon,[4] alongside the BMW 3200 CS, the last BMW with the OHV V8.[5]

Chassis and body[edit]

The three-box four-door saloon was in many ways conventional, using a unitary structure and MacPherson strut front suspension which were becoming mainstream by the time of the 1500s introduction.[6] Less conventional was the independent rear suspension, which featured coil springs and semi-trailing wishbones pivoted from a stout cross beam that also supported the differential housing.[6] While BMW was using MacPherson struts for their first time on the New Class, they had used unit body construction on the 700 and semi-trailing arm rear suspension on the 600 and the 700.[7][8]

The New Class platform was used as the starting point for a coupé that replaced the 3200 CS as BMW's flagship model in 1965.[9]

02 series

A two-door sedan was developed from the four-door New Class platform and introduced in 1966. The two-door sedan was intended to be an entry-level BMW, smaller, less expensive, and less well-appointed than the four-door sedan on which it was based.[10][11] BMW's design director Wilhelm Hofmeister assigned the two-door project to staff designers Georg Bertram and Manfred Rennen.[12][13] The shorter length and wheelbase and lighter weight of the two-door sedan made it more suitable than the original New Class sedan for sporting applications.[11][14] As a result, the two door sedan became the basis of the sporting 02 series.

Beginning in 1968, a convertible based on the 02 body was built by Karosserie Baur. A hatchback, called the Touring model, was developed from the 02 body, being available from 1971 to 1974.[15][16]


Main article: BMW M10

The M10 overhead camshaft engine used in the New Class[17] was required to displace 1.5 L initially, with the possibility to be expanded to 1.8 L. Von Falkenhausen had earlier designed an engine prototype for possible use in the BMW 700 and used this as a starting point for the M10.[3][4] The engine was canted over at 30 degrees to the right of vertical in order to allow for the low bonnet line, which also contributed to the styling of the car.[6]

The M10 engine would continue to be fitted in the BMW 316/318 until 1988.[citation needed]


The popularity of the 1500 increased sales to the extent that, in 1963, BMW was able to pay dividends to its shareholders for the first time in 20 years.[18]

The 2002 is one of BMW's most famous automobile models. Its popularity cemented the company's reputation for compact sporting sedans and served as forerunner of the BMW 3 Series.[citation needed]

Four door sedans[edit]

BMW New Class sedan
BMW 1500
Also called BMW 1500
BMW 1800 (including 1800 TI and 1800TI/SA)
BMW 1600
BMW 2000 (including 2000 TI, 2000 tilux, and 2000 tii)
Production 1500: 1962–1964
1800: 1964–1971
1600: 1964–1966
2000: 1966–1972
Designer Wilhelm Hofmeister
Giovanni Michelotti, consultant[19]
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size luxury car
Body style 4-door sedan
Related BMW New Class coupé
BMW "02 Series"
Engine BMW M10 OHC I4
1500: 1,499 cc
1800: 1,773 cc (1964–1968),
1,766 cc (1968–1971)
1600: 1573 cc
2000: 1,990 cc
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual on 1800 TI/SA
3-speed automatic optional on 1800/2000
Wheelbase 2,550 mm (100 in)[20]
Length 4,500 mm (180 in)[20]
Width 1,650 mm (65 in)[20]
Height 1,420 mm (56 in)[20]
Predecessor BMW 321
Successor BMW 5 Series (E12)


Introduced in September 1961 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the BMW 1500 entered regular production in October 1962 and was manufactured until December 1964. The 1500s successor, the BMW 1600 with the same body but a larger engine, began production more than six months before the 1500 was discontinued.[21]

Rear 3/4 view of BMW 1500

The new four-cylinder engine, with its original oversquare cylinder dimensions of 82 mm (3.2 in) bore and 71 mm (2.8 in) stroke, was a modern design with scope for future enlargement and development.[6] In its initial form, the engine produced 80 hp (60 kW).[22]

Contemporary reports praised the all-round visibility and the commanding driving position while recording that it was necessary to lean forward a little to engage first and third gears due to the long travel distance of the gear lever.[22] The large 40 cm tall luggage compartment was also commended.[22]

The 1500 could accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in approximately 15 seconds.[22] The performance was at the time considered lively in view of the engine size, and although the engine needed to be worked hard in order to achieve rapid progress, it ran smoothly and without gratuitous vibration even at speeds above 6,000 rpm.[22] The firm suspension and correspondingly harsh ride surprised those conditioned by the BMW 501 to anticipate a more comfort-oriented compromise in the balance between handling and smoothness.[22]

Notable problems that developed with the 1500 included separation of the semi-trailing arm mounts from the body, rear axle failure, and gearbox problems. These were resolved in later versions of the New Class sedan.[23]

The 1500 was replaced in 1964 by the 1600,[24] but it was still made available in markets where capacities greater than 1500 cc incurred higher tax rates.[citation needed]


model 1800 1800 TI 1800 TI/SA
1963 8,346
1964 25,063 8,191
1965 38,048 12,427 200
1966 13,393 4
1967 8,893 419
1968 7,777 67
1969 11,273 1
1970 14,367
1971 7,654
totals 134,814 21,116 200

Introduced in September 1963, the BMW 1800 was the second member of the New Class family. This model had an M10 engine with a 84 mm (3.3 in) bore and 80 mm (3.1 in) stroke, giving a displacement of 1,773 cc, a power output of 90 hp (67 kW) at 5,250 rpm, and a torque output of 96 lb·ft (130 N·m) at 3,000 rpm.[25][26] An 1800 TI (Turismo Internazionale) model featured components developed for the 1800 by the tuning company Alpina.[27] The upgrades included dual Solex PHH side-draft carburetors and higher-compression pistons for 110 hp (82 kW) at 5,800 rpm and 100 lb·ft (136 N·m) at 4,000 rpm.[28]

1965 BMW 1800 TI/SA

A homologation special, the 1800 TI/SA, was introduced in 1964.[26][28] The TI/SA's engine had dual Weber DCOE-45 carburetors [29] and a 10.5:1 compression ratio, with 130 hp (97 kW) at 6,100 rpm and 106 lb·ft (144 N·m) at 5,250 rpm.[28] The TI/SA also had a Getrag five-speed gearbox, stronger anti-roll bars, and larger-diameter brake discs than the TI. 200 examples of the TI/SA were built.[26][28]

An automatic transmission option was introduced in 1966 and in 1967 the 1800 was generally updated along with the 2000. The updates included interior changes (a modernized dashboard design and simpler door panels) as well as styling changes to the front grilles.[citation needed]

In 1968 the 1,773 cc engine used in the 1800 was replaced by an engine with the 89 mm (3.5 in) bore of the 2.0 L engine and the original 71 mm (2.8 in) stroke, yielding a displacement of 1,766 cc and a stroke/bore ratio of 0.798:1 instead of the previous 1800 engine's ratio of 0.952:1.[30]


model 1600
1963 19,634
1964 2,131
1965 6,395
1966 1,202
totals 29,362

The 1600, introduced in 1964, used the 84 mm (3.3 in) bore of the 1800 with the 1500s 71 mm (2.8 in) stroke, resulting in a displacement of 1,573 cc,[23][28] a power output of 83 hp (62 kW) at 5,500 revolutions per minute, and a torque output of 83 lb·ft (113 N·m) at 3,000 revolutions per minute.[28] The 1600 replaced the 1500 in 1964 and was produced until early 1971.[28]


BMW 2000 tii

Both versions of the two litre M10 engine introduced in 1965 in the 2000 C and 2000 CS became available in the New Class sedan in 1966. The base 2000 used the 100 hp (75 kW) engine from the 2000 C, while the 2000TI used the engine from the 2000 CS with twin Solex PHH side-draft carburetors and 120 hp (89 kW).[31][32] Intended as an upscale version of the 1800, the 2000 featured distinct wide taillights, more exterior trim, and unique rectangular headlights. The American market 2000 sedans could not have the rectangular headlights due to government regulations. A different grille with four individual round headlights, similar to the design that BMW later used in the 2500 sedan, was offered in the US. The 2000TI retained the '1800' taillights and headlights.[citation needed] A more luxurious 2000TI-lux (later "tilux") featured the sporty TI engine with a more high-grade interior and accessories,[33] including a wood dashboard and optional leather seats.[citation needed]

In a 1967 test, Road & Track felt that the 2000 sedan was "the best performing 2-liter sedan in today's market and the best handling and best riding as well."[citation needed]

In 1969, BMW introduced the 2000tii ('touring international, injected'), BMW's first fuel-injected model, featuring Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection.[30] The 2000tii produced 130 hp (97 kW) at 5,800 revolutions per minute and 131 lb·ft (178 N·m) at 4,500 revolutions per minute.[30][34] 1,952 2000tii cars were built of this final New Class sedan model.[30]

2000C/CS coupés[edit]

Main article: BMW New Class coupé
BMW 2000C/CS
BMW 2000 CS 1.jpg
BMW 2000 CS
Manufacturer BMW
Production 1965-1969
Assembly by Karmann at Osnabrück
Designer Wilhelm Hofmeister
Body and chassis
Class Grand tourer
Body style 2-door coupé
Platform BMW New Class
Related BMW New Class
Engine 2.0 L OHC I4
2000C: single carburettor, 100 hp (75 kW) at 5,500 rpm
2000CS: two carburettors, 120 hp (89 kW) at 5,500 rpm
Transmission 4 speed manual
3 speed automatic (available on 2000C only)
Wheelbase 2,550 mm (100 in)[35]
Length 4,530 mm (178 in)[35]
Width 1,675 mm (65.9 in)[35]
Height 1,360 mm (54 in)[35]
Predecessor BMW 3200 CS
Successor BMW 2800CS

In 1965, BMW ended production of their Bertone-bodied 3200 CS coupé, the last of their line of V8 powered luxury cars from the 1950s. BMW decided to continue with a coachbuilt coupé, which they would use to introduce the two litre version of the M10 engine. The New Class coupé was built by Karmann and released in the summer of 1965.[28][36] The styling of the coupé was based on that of the 3200 CS, but had unique front end styling[28][36] that has been described on one hand as "a blunt, unattractive front end",[28] and on another as "imposing" and "rather tidier than the Bertone body's fussy nose."[36]

Full frontal shot of the 2000 CS

The two litre version of the M10 engine had a 89 mm (3.5 in) bore and a 80 mm (3.1 in) stroke, resulting in a displacement of 1,990 cc. Two states of tune were used in the coupé: the 2000 C used a single carburetor system that delivered 100 hp (75 kW) at 5,500 revolutions per minute, while the 2000 CS used a dual-carburetor system that delivered 120 hp (89 kW) at the same engine speed. The 2000 C was available with either manual or automatic transmission while the 2000 CS was available only with a manual gearbox.[28][36]

The 2000 C and 2000 CS coupes were sold until late 1968. They were replaced by the BMW E9 coupes, which were developed from them and from the "New Six" E3 sedan.[37]

02 Series two door sedans[edit]

BMW "02 Series"
BMW 2002 (1974) , Dutch licence registration 93-EL-74 pic1.JPG
1974 BMW 2002
Also called BMW 1600-2, BMW 1600 TI, BMW 1602
BMW 2002, BMW 2002 TI, BMW 2002 tii, BMW 2002 Turbo
BMW 1802
BMW 1502
Production 1600-2: 1966–1971
2002: 1968–1975
1602, 1802: 1971–1975
1502: 1975–1977
Designer Georg Bertram, Manfred Rennen
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door sedan
2-door convertible
3-door hatchback
Platform BMW New Class, shortened for 02 series
Engine BMW M10 OHC I4
1602, 1502: 1573 cc
1802: 1,766 cc
2002: 1,990 cc
Transmission 4 speed manual
Wheelbase 2,500 mm (98.4 in)
Successor BMW 3 Series (E21)


The 1600-2, as the first "02 Series" BMW was designated, was an entry-level BMW, and was smaller, less expensive, and less well-appointed than the four-door sedan on which it was based.[10][11] The 1600-2 (the "-2" meaning "2-door")[10][11] made its debut at the Geneva auto show in March 1966[11][38] and was sold through 1975, with the designation being simplified to "1602" in 1971.[16] Power output of the M10 was up to 85 hp (63 kW) at 5,700 revolutions per minute[14] with 96 lb·ft (130 N·m) of torque at 3,500 revolutions per minute.[11] Within two years Road & Track was sufficiently impressed by the $2676 (US) 1968 1600 to call it "a great automobile for the price".[14]

BMW 1600 Cabriolet

A high performance version, the 1600 TI, was introduced in September 1967. With a compression ratio of 9.5:1 and the dual Solex PHH side-draft carburetor system from the 1800 TI, the 1600 TI produced 105 hp (78 kW) at 6,000 revolutions per minute. The 1600 TI was not sold in the United States, as it did not meet their emission standards.[14]

Also introduced in September 1967 was a limited-production cabriolet, which would be produced by Baur from 1967 through 1971. A hatchback 1600 Touring model was introduced in 1971 but was discontinued in 1972.[16]


BMW 2002 tii

Helmut Werner Bönsch, BMW's director of product planning, and Alex von Falkenhausen, designer of the M10 engine, each had a two litre engine installed in a 1600-2 for their respective personal use. When they realized they had both made the same modification to their own cars, they prepared a joint proposal to BMW's board to manufacture a two litre version of the 1600-2.[39][40] At the same time, American importer Max Hoffman was asking BMW for a sporting version of the 02 series that could be sold in the United States.[40]

The 1990 cc engine was made available in 1968 in two states of tune: the base single-carburetor 2002 producing 100 bhp (75 kW; 101 PS) as in the 2000 and the 2000 C and the dual-carburetor high compression 2002 ti producing 120 bhp (89 kW; 122 PS) as in the 2000 TI and the 2000 CS.[41][42] The 2002 Automatic, with the base engine and an automatic transmission, became available in 1969.[42]

In 1971, the Baur cabriolet was switched from the 1.6 L engine to the 2.0 L engine to become the 2002 cabriolet, the Touring hatchback version of the 02 Series became available with all engine sizes available in the 02 Series at the time, and the 2002 ti was replaced in by the 2002 tii with the fuel injected 130 bhp (97 kW; 132 PS) engine from the 2000 tii.[16] offering a top speed of 185 km/h (115 mph). The 2002ti (touring Internationale) is very rare, even more so than the 2002 turbo, as very few of these cars still survive. The 2002ti was also very successful in racing and Hans Stuck won the Nurburgring 24-hour race in 1970, but the car also won many hill-climbs and rallies.[citation needed] A 2002 tii Touring model was available throughout the run of the tii engine and the Touring body, both of which ended production in 1974.[16]

BMW 2002 Turbo

The 2002 Turbo was launched at the 1973 Frankfurt Motor Show. BMW's, and Europe's, first turbocharged production car,[43] the 2002 Turbo produced 170 hp (127 kW) at 5,800 rpm,[16] with 240 N·m (180 lb·ft) of torque.[citation needed] The 2002 Turbo used the 2002 tii engine with a KKK turbocharger and a compression ratio of 6.9:1 in order to prevent engine knocking. The 2002 Turbo was introduced just before the 1973 oil crisis, and 1,672 Turbos were built.[16]

1502 and 1802[edit]

BMW 1802 Touring hatchback

The 1802 was introduced in 1971 and was available with either the original 2-door sedan body or the 3-door Touring hatchback introduced that year. Production of the Touring model continued until 1974, with the 1802 sedan ending production the following year.[16]

The 1502, an economy model with an engine displacement of 1573 cc and a compression ratio of 8.0:1, was introduced in 1975. While the rest of the 02 Series was replaced in 1975 by the first generation of the 3 Series, the 1502 was continued until 1977.[16]


The BMW 2002 is best known for its competitiveness in the Trans Am Series under two liter class, although it saw little success as the class was dominated by Alfa Romeo, Porsche, and Datsun. In the golden age of Trans Am (1966-1972), BMW only garnered two race wins (Bryar and Bridgehampton in 1970).

Production figures[edit]

Production Figures[44]
BMW 1500
1800 TI/SA
2000 C/CS
02 series
2002 turbo
Baur Cabriolet
23,554 9,728 146,960 200 143,464 11,720 861,940 1,672 4,210


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  2. ^ Norbye, p. 134
  3. ^ a b Norbye, p. 136
  4. ^ a b Noakes, p. 62
  5. ^ Norbye, p. 131
  6. ^ a b c d Garnier, Peter, ed. (23 November 1974). "Buying Secondhand: BMW 1800 and 2000". Autocar. 141 (nbr 4074): pages 54–56. 
  7. ^ Norbye, pp. 136–137
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  9. ^ Noakes, p. 66
  10. ^ a b c Norbye, pp. 144, 161
  11. ^ a b c d e f Noakes, p. 69
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  23. ^ a b Noakes, p. 64
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  32. ^ Noakes, p. 67
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  39. ^ Noakes, p. 73
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