Ex-Works Roundie: BMW Alpina 2002ti

BMW has done a masterful job of building engaging vehicles for the masses while simultaneously curating an impressive legacy on the track. As with so many highlights in the company’s history, this fairytale story of performance and usability can be traced back to the iconic 2002. And among the legions of ’02s that perform track duties each year, one stands above: the Alpina-built factory works racecars, among the most desirable cars ever to wear a roundel. One has recently been discovered in the UK, as profiled here on the BMW Blog

At one time, BMWs destined for racing went straight from the factory to their skunkworks, known as Alpina. The tuning shop’s reputation is as impressive today as it ever was, and they still produce some of the most beautiful and powerful BMWs you can buy. I would argue that their preference has shifted to prestige over performance, but not this round-taillight 2002: this was built to race, from the Scheel bucket seats to the iconic, flared “pig cheeks” at the front of the car. This example is said to have raced at Silverstone in the UK but mechanical issues forced an early retirement and Alpina sold it rather than transporting it back to Germany.

Alpina breathed on the ’02 in numerous ways, including the three-spoke steering wheel, close ratio steering box and additional gauges set into the dash. The Alpina-worked M10 motor pushed out an estimated 200 b.h.p. and utilized a set of Weber 45 DCOEs. That’s more than enough power to hustle a 2002 around any track of your choosing, and if you read any of Sam Smith’s work from Road & Track, it’s safe to say his experience with another Alpina-built 2002 around Laguna Seca was downright transformative. The gentleman who discovered this 2002 claims the engine was sent back to Alpina for rebuilding at one point but that the car has not turned a wheel in 40 years.

Sadly, despite discovering the car, the author of the linked article above did not cast the highest bid for this piece of BMW Motorsports history that is now undergoing restoration. The semi-gloss black over Colorado Orange paint is downright iconic as it was Alpina’s color combo of choice, and you can also see how the rear fenders were flared-out considerably as well. This 2002 will thankfully be preserved, but hopefully the new owner’s plans also include bringing the Alpina to historic motorsports festivals around the UK and beyond. It’s simply too good not to share.

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Comments

  1. Richard Stern
  2. Jeff V

    What was the difference bewtween the ti & tii, I know the tii model is very collectable.

    • Dualsidedraughts

      The TI is dualsidedraught45dcoe and the TII is Kugelfischer fuel injection (mechanical.) I built up a ’69 ’02 w/ Turbo style bubble flares, painted it this color combo…quite completely by accident (had to have seen it somewhere.) I never had it completely sorted out, and to this day, the question: “When are you gonna finish that car, Maaaatt!” Makes me roll my eyes, and sigh…

    • Michael

      Ti was carbureted and tii had mechanical injection

    • Blackta1

      The tii had one more “i” than the ti.

      • Blackta1

        I am contemplating liking my own comment. It’s lonely at the bottom.

  3. Alex W

    Ti models were carbureted, the Tii cars had mechanical Kugelfisher fuel injection, some suspension and brake upgrades, and minor interior changes.

    • Jerry A

      ti’s predated the tii’s. they were never imported to the US, but a few made it to canada, central america and south america. ti stands for ‘touring international’. tii stands for ‘touring international injection’. tii’s share the same suspension, and brake upgrades as the ti’s. all ti’s are 6-fuse cars; all tii’s have the later 12-fuses and lower trim. back when the subject car was embellished, Alpina was a separate company from BMW (and still may be, i don’t know); they are a motor tuner. you could purchase any number of ‘add-ons’ from them like the folks at Hardy & Beck or Miller & Norburn. the subject car was sent directly to Alpina for upgrades and those cars typically got a special ID plate and understandably are special.

  4. Oil Slick

    Kewl, wrong side of the pond.

  5. Michael thomas

    200 hp is a strong number for that engine. I have a 3.2 big six with headers, 3 45 side drafts and hp cam all built by Korman stage 3 and it dyno at 245

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