The Good Oil: BMW 2002 concept, LaFerrari Spider and more
In memory of a marvellous model
The diminutive BMW M2 coupe is a wonderful thing. And now the Munich-headquartered manufacturer has added outrageous spoilers and creases to the bodywork all in the name of design.
Thing is, although on paper it sounds like they’ve simply taken a perfectly good M2 and boyracer-fied it, the BMW designers have made it even cooler in the process.
The M2-based 2002 Hommage coupe is a design study created by BMW’s crayon-wielders to mark the 50th anniversary of the 2002 coupe.
BMW seems to hold the 2002 in hugely high regard even today. The carmaker says it remains one of the company’s most significant models. BMW says the 2002 Hommage concept “celebrates the extraordinary feats of engineering behind the BMW 2002 turbo and re-imagines them as a design study for our times”.
The 2002 turbo was BMW’s first turbocharged passenger car and the first turbo-assisted production car after General Motors dabbled with the technology in the early 1960s.
At the concept’s unveiling BMW’s Adrian van Hooydonk said the original naturally aspirated 2002, which arrived in 1966, “still influences everything we do”.
The 2002 was the predecessor to the first 3 Series of 1975. This original 3 Series was a two-door model (codenamed E21), and the E30 four-door model arrived as part of the second generation update in 1982.
There’s no word on what lies beneath the bonnet of the 2002 Hommage coupe, but one presumes firepower will be courtesy of the M2’s 272kW TwinPower six-cylinder turbo, rather than the 2002 turbo’s 127kW unit.
BMW rather likes its tribute-paying design studies; the 2002 Hommage is part of an official programme of likeminded releases, which began with the Coupe Mille Miglia concept in 2007.
LaFerrari Spider confirmed
Chef Gordon Ramsay and actor Jesse Eisenberg appear in Top Gear season 23; Ferrari’s Hybrid Hypercar LaFerrari (below).
If it’s strange marketing ploys you’re after, look no further than the first episode of “new new” Top Gear, which will be playing on New Zealand television this weekend.
That there might be a convertible version of Ferrari’s LaFerrari hypercar coming soon has been the subject of nearly-but-not-quite gossip for a while now. But it would appear that Ferrari chose to confirm the car via a firebrand celebrity chef and a fiery-headed radio DJ on a British car show.
Well okay, the car show is Top Gear which, that other soon-to-be-launched Amazon Prime-based product aside, is still the world’s most talked-about and viewed motoring programme. So far, so expected.
But Gordon Ramsay as a product-placing Ferrari stooge? Seems as likely as Ozzy Osbourne endorsing I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Oh wait, that happened too.
The idea there is a drop-top LaFerrari — and that 150 have been made and sold already — came to light when Ramsay produced a special box he said Ferrari sent him three months ago containing the key to his soon-to-arrive LaFerrari Spider.
Ramsay and Hollywood actor Jesse Eisenberg appeared on the first Chris Evans-helmed episode of Top Gear in a revamped take on the old “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment, called “Stars in a Rallycross Car”.
During the interview section on the updated Top Gear studio set, Evans asked Ramsay about a new car he is expecting soon.
At this point the chef pulled out a box from underneath his seat and said: “This is from Ferrari. And I got sent it about three months ago. And they’re doing a limited edition of the LaFerrari. So it’s the LaFerrari Spider.”
With that he opened the box and produced a normal-looking (for Ferrari) ignition key.
Now either the entire thing was a set-up, or Ramsay might be in enough trouble with the Italian manufacturer to see his ownership papers shredded.
Here at The Good Oil though, we reckon the entire thing has to be a carefully co-ordinated marketing ploy; after all, why would Ramsay happen to have the key under his seat in the first place?
Evans is also a well-known Ferrari collector and made sure to underline that Ramsay’s “revelation” was the first time the convertible LaFerrari had been confirmed by anyone, anywhere.
Seems slightly too well-engineered for potential soundbite gold to us.
Would this have happened in the Clarkson/Hammond/May days?
Camry quietly fades away
Australia has announced a series of mild updates for what will be the final Aussie-manufactured Camry sedan.
Aside from the sports-themed Atara SX, even local pricing is set to remain unchanged for this year’s model range.
Camry production began at Toyota’s Altona plant in Victoria in 1987, the first time the Camry had been manufactured outside of Japan.
The Camry has been a strong seller, especially among fleets in Australia, where it has been the best-selling mid-size sedan for 22 consecutive years.
But the final curtain call for the mid-sizer is a low-key affair to say the least.
Whereas the Commodore and Falcon have bred a fervent fan following over the decades, the Camry has never been seen as an especially aspirational model. Even sporty dress-ups have failed to light the fire of fandom and the Camry is often cited as a prime example of the boring, staid side of the world’s largest carmaker’s output.
Production ceases at the Altona plant next year.
143 KILOWATTS Maximum power available in first BMW E30 M3
8000 Units of BMW Z1 roadster produced between 1989 and 1991
1937 YEAR BMW set the ==world motorcycle speed record (173.7mph)
1972 YEAR BMW produced its first electric car; a 1602 sedan powered by 12 batteries