BMW first turbocharged design was the mid engined Turbo show car of 1972. Originally just two of these vehicles were built, but the car gave a foretaste of some of the engineering to be found on the company’s first full production model, the 2002 Tirbo of 1973. Its 170 bhp engine was considerably detuned compared with the show car. Despite this, it was still more than enough to give the boxy little two door saloon serious kick. The top speed went up to 130 mph (208 km/h) and the 0-60 mph (96 km/h) time came to just 8 seconds, an astonishing figure for a 2 liter road car in the early 1970s. Lowered suspension and fatter tyres gave the 2002 Turbo better grip than the standard car, but the primitive early turbocharged installation lacked the flexibility and response of modern units, the boost could come in rather viciously. Driving it quickly required a considerable amount of skill to handle the sometime nature of the turbo’s muscular boost.
It was to be a short lived model, which is perhaps a shame. Unfortunately the 2002 Turbo came into being in the midst of the 1970s fuel crisis, and became another tragic casualty of the period’s war on its class of car. Company executives thought that the 2002 Turbo’s aggressive stripes and spoilers were somewhat inappropriate too. BMW withdraw the car form production in 1974, after just 1674 examples had been built.