BMW 2000 Alpina (E121): silver sedan from 1972
The BMW New Class was a line of sedans and coupes produced by German automaker BMW between 1962 and 1977. These models ensured BMW’s solvency after the company’s financial crisis of the 1950s and established the identity of BMW automobiles as sports sedans.
The first New Class vehicle was the 1500, a 4-door compact executive car with the new M10 (at the time called M115) OHC 4-cylinder engine. In 1965, the 2000C and 2000CS luxury coupés were added to the range.
Replacement of the New Class models began with the larger 2000C and 2000CS coupés, which were replaced by the 6-cylinder E9 2800CS in 1969. In 1972, the 4-door sedans were replaced by the larger E12 5 Series.
The New Class coupes introduced the Hofmeister kink, which has been used on most BMW cars since. Another legacy of the New Class is the iconic 02 Series, which are a shortened version of the New Class sedans.
The M10 overhead camshaft engine used in the New Class was required to displace 1.5 L initially, with the possibility to be expanded to 1.8 L. Von Falkenhausen had earlier designed an engine prototype for possible use in the BMW 700 and used this as a starting point for the M10.
The engine was canted over at 30 degrees to the right of vertical in order to allow for the low bonnet line, which also contributed to the styling of the car.
The engines from the 2000C and 2000CS coupes were used in the 4-door sedan body for the 2000 and 2000TI models. The 2000 sedan, released in 1965, used the 75 kW (101 hp) engine from the 2000 C. The 2000TI sedan, released in 1966, used the 90 kW (121 hp) engine from the 2000 CS with twin Solex PHH side-draft carburetors .
Intended as an upscale version of the 1800, the 2000 featured distinct wide taillights, more exterior trim, and unique rectangular headlights. The American market 2000 sedans could not have the rectangular headlights due to government regulations. A different grille with two individual round headlights, similar to the design that BMW later used in the 2500 sedan, was offered in the US. The 2000TI retained the ‘1800’ taillights and headlights.
A more luxurious 2000TI-lux (later “tilux”) featured the sporty TI engine with a more high-grade interior and accessories, including a wood dashboard and optional leather seats.