Is this the most under-rated BMW ever made?

In praise of a forgotten icon, we celebrate the New Class, a line of cars that made BMW what they are today

When the Sixties dawned, BMW weren’t in a great place. The company had suffered a post-war financial crisis in the Fifties, and their luxury cars were becoming increasingly outdated and unprofitable. Things looked bleak for the German carmaker. 

But then, from the collective minds of Eberhard Wolff, Wilhelm Hofmeister and Alex von Falkenhausen, came the ‘Neue Klasse’, a project built around a new engine – something BMW hadn’t attempted to create since 1922. The line launched in 1962, secured the brand’s solvency and established BMW as the luxury and performance brand we know today.

So why doesn’t anyone remember the New Class? Striking in design and real achievements in engineering, they should have gone down in history, but few today could even name the models. So, to right those wrongs, we’ve taken a look at a BMW 2000CS – a compact executive car built in the New Class project between 1965 and 1969. It is, in our opinion, the most under-rated BMW ever made.

Is this the most under-rated BMW ever made?

Almost 14,000 of these cars were made for the worldwide market, but the model seen here is just one of 148 CS coupes made in right-hand drive for Britain. But that low number is easily explained when you see the price tag – a new 2000CS cost £3,365. To put that in perspective, a new Jaguar E-Type then just cost £2,245.

Is this the most under-rated BMW ever made?

Finished in the classic BMW colour Sahara Beige, the car was initially created by German coach builder Karmann, and this model houses the 2-litre version of the M10 4-cylinder engine.

Is this the most under-rated BMW ever made?

Inside, the charming cabin was finished to an impeccably-high standard, with a wooden fascia and brown leather seats.The minimalistic wheel reflects much of the design – all the way down to the 14-inch polished hubcaps.

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