The BMW 2002 has much of the responsibility for planting the seed of the German brand’s performance reputation over in the United States. While not its first vehicle available in the U.S, the 2002’s light weight and potent 2.0-litre four-cylinder were an irresistible combination for many enthusiasts. As the years passed, the platform proved to be a great basis for some aftermarket upgrades, too. Now, Jay Leno’s Garage has welcomed a modded 2002 with the perfect mix of improvements.

BMW 2002 Jay Leno

Marc Norris from Bavarian Workshop built this 2002 for a client about a decade ago. It started as a fairly nice example, but fulsome work soon transformed the car. A 2.3-litre S14 four-cylinder from a 1989 E30 M3 is now underneath the bonnet, and a five-speed manual replaces the standard four-speed. To make the most of the extra power, 2002 Turbo wing flares cover 16-inch wheels with some seriously wide rubber. Norris has also extensively upgraded the suspension.

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Norris and Leno get into a debate about the new stainless steel exhaust, though. When cruising, the note is fairly docile, but it roars whenever the comedian gets on the throttle. Norris thinks a resonator would be a good addition to calm things down, but Leno likes the aggressive sound. Take a listen, and tell us whether you would want to turn down the engine’s volume. 

Norris’ other upgrades keep true to the BMW aesthetic. For example, he leaves the stock instrument panel in place but adds a set of modified seats from a 320i. The M2 badge on the back might not be to everyone’s taste, though.

Leno makes a good argument about why this might be the perfect 2002 restomod. We’re pretty jealous of Norris’ client who gets to keep this beauty in the garage...

Source: Jay Leno's Garage

Gallery: BMW 2002 Restomod Jay Leno's Garage