Produced exclusively for the 1973/74 season, the iconic BMW 2002 Turbo holds the title of Europe’s first turbocharged production car. BMW’s quest for more power in their medium-sized saloon led to the introduction of the original 2002 in 1968, with the fuel-injected 2002tii serving as the foundation for the Turbo model.

Easily identifiable by its prominent front air dam, wheel arch extensions, and boot-mounted spoiler, this top-tier model was inspired by a successful racing program. Notably, a turbocharged 2002 driven by Dieter Quester won the 1969 European Touring Car Championship.

To compete against the Porsche 911, which was later banned from touring car races, BMW opted for turbocharging, boosting race trim power from 210 to around 270 bhp. The road version delivered 170 bhp, which in a compact car translated to exceptional performance, including a top speed of 130 mph.

This made the Turbo the fastest and most thrilling medium-sized sports saloon of its era. Today, this rare model—only 1,672 units were produced—is highly regarded as a modern classic and is much sought after by collectors.

Photos by Frederik Kjaer Bruun courtesy of RM Sotheby’s