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BMW gets nostalgic with its 2002 Hommage concept

Most concept cars look forward, predicting new designs and technology. But BMW is in the habit of building concepts that look back, channeling nostalgia for its classics. That tradition continues at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, with the unveiling of the BMW 2002 Hommage concept.

The 2002 Hommage is the latest in a series of concepts based on classic BMW models. In this case, homage is paid to the 2002, the boxy sedan that helped cement BMW’s reputation as a maker of sporty but practical cars. The 2002 was also one of the first production cars to be offered with a turbocharged engine, something you’ll find on nearly every BMW today.

Read more: BMW’s 3.0 CSL Hommage R concept gets a race-inspire paint job

The original 2002 was defined by its compact proportions, upright greenhouse, and forward-tilted “sharknose” front fascia. All of those elements are present in modernized form on the 2002 Hommage concept, making for a design that looks like a cross between the original 2002 and a modern 2 Series. Designers tried to soften up the boxiness, and added flared fenders and front and rear spoilers that recall the 2002 Turbo performance model.

Designers also paid attention to the details. A horizontal strip of carbon fiber separates the upper and lower halves of the body, in reference to the original 2002’s chrome trim. The Space Race Metal paint is gloss on most of the body, but matte on the hood, trunk lid, and roof to cut glare. The headlights have gold reflectors, since the Hommage was created to celebrate the 2002’s 50th anniversary.

The Hommage certainly looks good, but is it more than just a pretty face? BMW would not discuss the powertrain, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to picture something turbocharged under the hood. There also aren’t any details on the interior, either. Those are some crucial omissions, but then again the 2002 Hommage is just a styling exercise, not a preview of a future production model.

A reborn 2002 would be pretty neat, but BMW already cast the 2 Series in that role. Like the previous Hommage concepts, the 2002 Hommage recalls a legendary model and lets BMW designers cut loose, but that’s the extent of its mission.