At first a BMW 1602 EV Conversion does not go hand in hand with the statement “everything used to be better”. A saying that was mostly something for boomers (sorry for that) who suddenly had to understand complicated technology like the internet and those small mobile phones. Nowadays, it is a statement for all ages, especially when you look at today’s BMWs. Suddenly, the past is no more than a decade ago. Fortunately, there is a middle ground between the past and the present.
Not the first electric BMW 1602
This BMW 1602 by Kith is an ode to one of the first ever electric BMWs. Back in 1972, BMW converted a 1602 into an electric car. This was to film long-distance events. Probably long distances for runners, because we can’t imagine that an electric car got very far in the 1970s.
For now, the modern BMW 1602 Elektro is not for sale. Kith is now using the car for a campaign with Edward Norton. When asked where he would take the car, he didn’t want to talk about it. We heard him mutter something about lines one and two.
The BMW 1602
The BMW 02 series was BMW’s middle-class car from 1966 to 1977. The series was derived from the BMW New Class but had two instead of four doors.
The first car of the 02 series powered by the BMW M10 four-cylinder engine was named 1600-2 (Typ 114) to indicate that this was a two-door and not the 1600 four-door. In the type designation of the 02 series, the first two digits refer to the displacement, except for the later 1502 which also had a 1573 cc engine. A completely different story than this BMW 1602 EV Conversion we share here.
In 1968, the 2002 (E10) was introduced with a 1990 cc engine, and the 1600 and 2002 were subsequently also offered as (full) convertibles. Until 1971 the 1600 and 2002 were also available in a ti version with a dual Solex carburetor with 100 and 120 hp respectively. As an option, one could choose the Alpina package that delivered even more horsepower.
From 1971 there was a small facelift and the name 1600-2 was changed to 1602. The 1802 (Typ 114) with an engine capacity of 1766 cc was introduced and the 2002tii with mechanical injection and an engine output of 130 hp came to replace the 2002ti. The facelift in 1971 was also the start of the Touring (E6), this variant had a third door, actually a huge tailgate.
In August 1973 there was a major restyling of the 02 series. There was a different nose with a plastic grill and a different rear with square taillights. The convertible was also modified and was now only available with roll bar: the 2002 Baur convertible.
In 1974 BMW came out with the 2002 turbo (E20) with mechanical injection and turbocharger with an engine output of 170hp. This was the first European mass-produced car with a turbo, two years before the Porsche 930 turbo. The 2002 Turbo was available in silver and white (and one car was delivered in black). Due to the oil crisis, gasoline consumption was highly criticized and the series model became a flop with only 1,672 produced. In racing, however, the idea of the turbo engine caught on: BMW even became Formula 1 world champion with the turbo engine, based on the M10 lower block.
The BMW 02 series gave birth to a number of tuning companies such as AC Schnitzer, Koepchen and GS-Tuning to make the 02 even sportier.
One of these companies, Alpina, went so far that almost nothing remained original except the bodywork, and they became their own car brand.
In 1975, the 02 series was succeeded by the BMW E21 but the entry-level 1502 was still produced until 1977.
The 2002ti and tii became very popular in racing after a while, but the 2002 turbo was too fragile for this. The ti, tii, turbo, and touring models were the most sought after.
BMW 1602 EV Conversion
This electric BMW 1602 combines modern technology with a classic 1970s design. The exact specifications are not mentioned and may have to do with the fact that this BMW 1602 Elektro does not come from BMW, but from the clothing brand Kith. And no, that’s not how boxer Mike Tyson pronounces the word kiss.
Kith founder Ronnie Fieg chose the color Vitality Green and had the interior covered in new beige leather. Inside and out, you’ll find a number of references to the clothing brand. In addition to this BMW 1602 Elektro, Kith also commissioned an electric BMW i4 M50 in the same color scheme. Early next month, the green i4 will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s.