In August 1975 BMW presented its 3-series. It marked a new step in the luxury small middle class segment. Its predecessor, the BMW -02 series, had been important for the Bavarian manufacturer in this specific market area. The arrival of the newcomer did not mean the final goodbye to the -02 series. Because the BMW 1975 introduced in January 1502 was allowed to keep the honor of the -02 series high for a few more years.
Until August 1502, this 1975 was part of a larger number of models from the -02 series. With the arrival of the 3-series, the BMW 1502 became the only remaining equipment variant of the illustrious -02 series. At the same time, he became the entry-level model for the Bavarian brand.
Technical principles of 1602
BMW naturally took over the technical principles of the larger motorized -1502 models for the 02. The chassis gave the same driving characteristics as that of its larger -02 brothers. The emphasis in the BMW 1502 was also on the sporty character, while with the upcoming 3-series the emphasis was directed more towards comfort. Furthermore, BMW placed the M10 engine with 1573 cc from the 1602 in the front. That meant, among other things: an aluminum head, a chain-driven overhead camshaft and the installation of one Solex 38 PDSI carburetor.
Tamed power source
The Bavarians did tame the power source – also with the arrival of the 316 in mind. The difference with the 1602 variant was, among other things, that BMW's new entry-level model was satisfied with normal petrol. BMW also made adjustments to the M10 power source, so that the compression ratio in the BMW 1502 fell to 8,0:1. Furthermore, the power was 75 HP (85HP in the 1602). The maximum torque did not differ much from that of the 1602 (118 Nm at 124 Nm), but it only became available at 3700 rpm (3000 rpm at 1602). Finally, the top speed was 155 kilometers per hour, which was 10 kilometers lower than the more powerful 1602.
From elegant chrome to business black
For the BMW 1502, BMW also chose to give the entry-level model its own characteristics in a cosmetic sense. The closed wheel covers returned. And in places (especially on the side windows it was visible) chrome details were replaced by black accents, while the trim along the side was omitted. It is precisely those subtle details that gave the 1502 its own business-like face that fitted in with the era. It also applied to the interior, which was reminiscent of the interior of the other -02 models.
Old core values in new BMW times
The BMW 1502 was built until August 1977. The Bavarian manufacturer extended the life of the -02 series by a few years. It gave the illustrious and sporty series a modest, but dignified goodbye. 71.564 buyers rewarded this with a signature under the order form. And in return they received a mature BMW model that effortlessly integrated the old sporty core values into the new BMW times for a few more years.