You don’t have to be a BMW fan to both know and appreciate the classic 2002 for the cool runabout and road racing star it was. In the world of performance motoring its a 1970s icon, and to this day it enjoys a strong following. Case-in-point is the team at Gruppe 5 Motorsport, a company which currently seeks your classic 1968-1975 BMW 2002 so it may morph into a road-legal monster of epic proportions. It’s called the Gruppe5 2002, and if the stats we’re reading in the press release come to fruition, hold on to your hats and kidneys because this thing should go like hell in pretty much every direction.
The process begins with a donor car, which is completely disassembled and basically rebuilt from the ground up. A healthy infusion of steel and carbon fibre adds strength while reducing weight, and to make sure this street-legal GT car is still track compliant, proper equipment to comply with FIA safety protocol is part of the build. The exterior treatment clearly gives the plucky 2002 a hardcore widebody look, but that also allows larger rubber for better grip in the corners and under acceleration.
Speaking of which, that grip will be sorely needed because the original 2.0-litre four-cylinder is ditched for nothing less than a V10 sourced from the E60 BMW M5. It doesn’t stop there, because the engine is punched up to 5.8 litres and is said to generate no less than 744 bhp. If that’s not enough, a 5.9-litre option making 803 bhp is also available. Mind you, this is powering a car that, according to Gruppe5, will only weigh 2,200 pounds. It’s also said to produce 2,400 pounds of downforce, so yeah, at speed it should seriously stick to corners – if you’re brave enough to roll onto the throttle.
This all sounds a bit too fantastic and frankly, we’d be waving the vaporware flag right now if it wasn’t for folks involved in this endeavour. Hardcore racers might recognise Riley Technologies as a constructor of Daytona Prototypes that were rather dominant in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Hardcore Bimmer enthusiasts will likely recognise Steve Dinan and his company CarBahn Autoworks, as he's been tuning fast BMWs for decades. You can probably guess which group will handle the chassis and suspension, and which will tweak the engine.
Pricing for the conversion isn’t mentioned, but we are told that only 300 cars will go under the knife. 200 will have to get by with the Dinan-tuned 744 bhp engine, while 100 will brandish the 803-bhp mill. We’re also told that Gruppe5 Motorsport is now accepting orders with plans to begin production this summer.