What’s the first thing that pops up in your head whenever you hear the initials BMW? A vehicle very classic and very sporty? So was the case back in the 60s and 70s, when BMW 02 series was winning the hearts of car and especially BMW fanatics.
The German automaker had introduced the 02 series back in 1966 as a spartan version of New Class Sedans, with the first model being BMW 1602 (1600-2 as known earlier). Though BMW 3 Series replaced the 02 Series in 1975, BMW 1502 lasted till 1977, thanks to its late launch and peerless popularity.
To understand the 1502 model better, it is a must to know a brief history of the 1973 Oil Crisis. The crisis made governments to impose restrictions and even bans on driving. The auto manufacturers adjourned the endless pursuit of producing scorching elite cars instead focused on launching more modestly-specified variants. Following the trend, BMW introduced the brand-new 1502 that proved to be a new entry point.
Therefore, the German automakers made 1502 a more energy-efficient and modest variant. But, there was absolutely no compromise on the class and prestige of BMW along with the technical specifications.
Specifications and Appearance
BMW 1502 was a moderate version of 1602. The stylish sedan weighing 20 kilograms less than a tonne came with a 1573 cc engine, the same as 1602. But, its compression ratio decreased from 85 hp to 75 hp. Its top speed was just shy of 100 mph (98.97mph to be precise), which was the maximum velocity of its elder brother. Furthermore, it took only a quick 13.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. Werner Schruf, the editor of auto motor und sports, was so surprised by the performance of 1502 that he went on to describe it as a lively expression.
1502’s engine had four straight cylinders with a capacity of 1.6 liters. This vehicle can produce a maximum torque of 118 N/m. The engine was longitudinally placed in front of the car and drove only the rear wheels.
Unlike all other BMWs, the 50-liter tank of 1502 contained regular petrol. It had a 4-speed manual shifter. Though all other cars in 02 Series had wraparound chrome strip trim, 1502 lacked it. The standard steel wheel rims equipped with hub caps made it less trendy, but the colors as vibrant as orange, yellow, and sky blue contravened its overall mature look. Moreover, there was always an option for funky customization. The vintage 1502 was a 2dr saloon. It had a Hofmeister Kink, a signature design of BMW, and a very sleek look. The plain yet classy dashboard with a smooth steering wheel is what the drivers crave for, and 1502 had it all. A 4-5 person carrier, it was as spacious as void.
A Car of Masses
Till 1975, BMW 1602 was the most economical vehicle of the German manufacturers. But, 1502 came with a price tag of 1,000 German Marks less than 1602. Many car enthusiasts considered this an opportunity to own something as luxurious as a BMW car. So, the 1502 model proved to be the first BMW of many. Despite its low-cost, BMW 1502 was a still signature BMW with great specs and luxurious appearance, giving a delightful driving experience.
In late 1975, the company decided to put an end to the bestselling 02 Series and came up with a new 3 Series, a range presently running. However, BMW opted against discontinuing its 1502 to console the drivers, saddened by the end of iconic 02 Series.
The sole purpose of 1502 was to attract some new customers who found other BMWs expensive to buy. Besides, it was a well-built and durable vehicle as the automakers engineered this car for day-to-day driving purposes.
And finally, in 1977, the era of 02 Series came to an end when BMW wrapped up the production of 1502, the last member of the 02 family. The E21 3 Series, launched in 1975, Series came in place of those supreme 02s and has followed the success and legacy of their predecessors to date.
Summing up, the BMW 1502 was a car that provided an opportunity for ordinary men and car fanatics to enjoy the luxury of driving BMW. It is an accurate depiction of the word vintage.