Thursday, January 8, 2009

BMW 2002 Turbo 1973-1974

From 1973-1974, BMW made 1676 2002 Turbo's, with no official vehicles ever crossing the Atlantic. (A close friend, and owner of a pristine 2002 Turbo, told me that there are around 100 in the US imported from Europe.) Although slow and sluggish by today's standards, the car revolutionized the way consumers thought about performance cars by offering the first turbo charged engine in a small chassis. However, the Turbo met mixed reviews upon its 1973 release with most of the negative reviews addressing problems with turbo lag. The majority of the Turbo's power would jump in after 4000 rpm, making it hard to drive.

These imperfections with the Turbo add to its appeal as a lifestyle automobile by making it appropriate for only a few. True lifestyle objects force their owners to make both monetary and functional compromises in favor of intangible appeals. Take for example a fixed gear track bike. By design a true track bike is uncomfortable, dangerous and has limited applications. These impracticalities make the mastering of a track bike (and its accompanying lifestyle) that much more attractive.

A BMW 2002 Turbo is slow, uncomfortable, small, sluggish, dangerous, expensive and guzzles gas, but it sure is cool.

Recognize the red, blue and purple stripes? Today, these same stripes are found on the M3, M5 and M6

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