Journal: This Is What It's Like To Drive The BMW 2002 Tii

This Is What It’s Like To Drive The BMW 2002 Tii

By Ted Gushue
June 7, 2016

Photography by Ted Gushue

The first thing I noticed getting into the BMW 2002 Tii was how downright roomy it is. Everything about the car on the outside screams diminutive, but sitting in the front seat and grabbing the wheel I was shocked by how much space I felt around me. One look at the diminutive pumpkin from the outside and you’d have felt a tingling sensation that your bags would have a hard time getting through the door, but engineers somehow cast some sort of magic spell that doubles the predictive size inside.

Your driving stance is, much like the 1600 Cabriolet I’d just driven before this, distinctively German. Posture is paramount, wheel position is non negotiable. You could have balanced books on top of my head as I slid the buttery transmission into first gear.

Now, the first thing I might compare the engine to would have been the original 2.7-litre magnesium-bodied number that you’d find in a compression bumper 911. Before I switched mine out to a 3.2 from an ’88 Carrera I recall the feeling to be almost identical in terms of torque pull, engine noise, and a general desire to make you go quickly—but an almost deflated realization that it couldn’t necessarily do so.

The Tii wants to go fast. It looks fast standing still. It screams, “Chuck me into that corner and see what happens!” but that’s where you start to lose the ability to do so. It just wants to deliver so much, but the 130 horses under the hood make it increasingly difficult to do so.

Somehow though, none of this matters, largely because if you can’t drive a slow car fast, you shouldn’t be allowed to drive a fast car slow.

Join the Conversation
0 0 votes
Article Rating
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mich van den Bergh
Mich van den Bergh(@m-vandenbergh)
4 years ago
Jumbo Mclooney
Jumbo Mclooney
4 years ago

Where’s the rest of the article?

5 years ago

What a shame I was hoping to read something better.
Slow compared to what? Surely some contextual comparisons to its peers would have been useful, the Tii does 0 to 60mpg in 8 seconds (euro) that’s at least “nippy” by 1970’s standards, the car as a package is what makes it special. I can’t imagine how it was being driven if you didn’t get a good impression from a spirited drive through the twisties!
Very disappointing article and not because I own a Tii.

5 years ago

I had the 73rd built. One of the best cars I’ve owned. I added Alpina fuel injection and a Stahl header. It did feel more powerful than it was. Remember Stahlflex Phoenix tires? It was very tight through the turns.

Ray Houghton
Ray Houghton(@fb_1245381563)
5 years ago

If you judge this car strictly on acceleration it not great, if you judge it by how well it handles curves, and how fun it is to drive, it wins.

2 years ago
Reply to  Ray Houghton

Can’t be fun to drive when it severely lacks in power.

Dennis Cavallino
Dennis Cavallino(@denniscavallino)
5 years ago

I drove several 02’s for a long while. An 1802 for about a year in and around the Hague and a 2002 (with single carb as well) during a rally(tour) around Normandy. The 1802 lacks torque at low speed, so in slow corners you’ll just have to wait. But the 2002 (in its slowest form) picks up speed at low speed like an MG B does. And therefor it doesn’t feel slow at all. On countryroads (the smaller the better) it actually becomes quick. You can still drive a bonestock 02 spirited without getting bored. So I don’t know what Ted expected, but I think he just thought of the Tii as it was an E30 325i, which it’s not.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay(@christophergay)
5 years ago

That’s it?

Roomy and slow?

Just yesterday you guys post an interview with an awesome guy that has like six of these on his property, then you actually “drive” one and tell us in five short paragraphs that it is basically a dog, albeit a cute one.

I don’t get it, but to each their own.

C’mon Ted. Work with us. I’m guessing that this one ain’t gonna fly for a lot of people. The title should read: “This Is What It’s Like to Sit In The BMW Tii”.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay(@christophergay)
5 years ago

Just let us have it. I felt like you were just getting started, and you were hitting all the points, laying the foundation, and then it abruptly ended.

I’ll come up there sometime if I ever get mine back on the road and we’ll try this again. 🙂

Mark St Clair
Mark St Clair(@fb_10154261807253636)
5 years ago

Perhaps it was the smoothness of the fuel injection which made it feel not as fast as it was. This struck me so when I first drove a tii after living with the “sturm und drang” of a twin carburettor equipped 2002. Induction noise does add to the experience.

Johannes Oppitz
Johannes Oppitz(@johannes999)
5 years ago

Maybe I come from a lower level, but I don’t find 130hp in a 02 “slow”.