The BMW 2002 is among the brand's most important vehicles in the United States because of its role in popularizing the company's models as being quick, sharp handling, and relatively financially accessible to enthusiasts. Now, designer Naoto Kobayashi renders his view of an i2002 that blends classic elements with the style of modern BMWs.
The original 2002 has headlights at the extreme corners of the front end, and there are horizontal grilles that lead to the trademark kidneys in the center. Kobayashi retains the general idea but adds touches of the giant grille from the upcoming 4 Series. He also puts a big splitter underneath it. Broad fenders make the vehicle appear even wider.
Gallery: BMW i2002 By Naoto Kobayashi
Kobayashi also renders his take on the 2002 from the back. The broader fenders from his design take away the original's slab-sided appearance. The skinny pillars are similar, though. Depending on the model year, the 2002 has either circular or rectangular taillights, but Kobayashi uses a skinny strip of LEDs for his vehicle. For a sporty appearance, there's a trunk lip spoiler and large diffuser beneath the bumper.
The similarities to the original 2002 are subtle, and Kobayashi appears to be more interested in carrying forward the spirit of the model, rather than directly emulating its styling. There's definitely an appeal to a compact, sporty coupe that also offers a little luxury.
BMW also toyed with the look of a revival with its two 2002 Hommage concepts in 2016. They specifically used the range-topping 2002 Turbo as a source of inspiration, and the second one had a race-ready look with a fresh take on the Jägermeister livery. Unfortunately, a production version never happened. Today, the 2 Series Coupe is likely the closest thing in the BMW range that carries on the ethos of the original 2002.