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Back to the future: BMW unveils 2002 Hommage concept

Oh yes, take a bow and welcome Munich's latest anniversary present to itself

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Very few cars have the visual audacity to trade blows with a mint BMW 2002, but this new 2002 Hommage concept - unveiled at Villa D’Este on the eve of the concours show - might just be up to it. Looks special, no?

It’s designed of course, to pay tribute to that legendary BMW turbo saloon. “Exactly 50 years ago, the 02 range kick-started an era of success for BMW. This compact coupe is one of the vehicles which made the brand what it is today,” explains BMW’s senior VP Adrian van Hooydonk. Hard to argue with that.

What you get then, is a one-off concept car spun off the BMW M2 that “raises a glass” to the 2002’s achievements. And we’ll start with perhaps the most famous of all BMW traits, that shark nose. You’ll spot it makes a return on the Hommage to quite astonishing effect. Then there’s the huge front spoiler - “a stylistic nod to those models of the 1970s” - that apparently shortens the visual distance between the Hommage concept and the road. It also looks like a wonderful way to clear the drive after a snow fall, but maybe that’s just us.

The rear too, takes the original 2002 concept and gives it a modern twist. The rectangular rear lights feature glass covers that only show the inner light workings when illuminated. When off, it’s a straight black surface - like a ‘strip’ wrapped around the car. To this, you add air intakes, said to boost air flow around the car for that all-important downforce.

Did we mention the arches, by the way? There are many. The Hommage takes the 2002’s wide stance and pumps it out even more: BMW tells us they “frame the body like four brakcets and add stature”. Inside sit 20in wheels with gold brake calipers stamped with the M logo, while underneath the carbon diffuser at the rear, quad exhaust pipes nestle in. Sounds good.

That’s because of course, it gets the M2’s fancy 3.0-litre single-turbo straight-six: it has M3 pistons and M3 main bearings, a special exhaust, plus cooling and oiling greatly upgraded for track work. You’re looking at 370bhp and 369lb ft of torque.

“The Hommage car brings together the past and future of BMW into a confident statement of unadulterated driving joy,” explains BMW design boss Karim Habib. We agree. Happy anniversary, 2002.

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