The BMW 2000 Coupé (internally coded E120) was introduced in June 1965. It was based on the components of the so called "New Class" (Neue Klasse), which was produced by BMW since 1962 and which enjoyed a great commercial success and helped the company come over the lousy post-war economic situation.
In the early 60's BMW produced a different coupé. It was an eight-cylinder car for which the body was designed by Bertone. This car was named BMW 3200 CS. Although the coupé 2000 C is very different, one can spot some design features which were carried over from the predecessor 3200 CS.
The 2000 CS was designed by the BMW's head designer Wilhelm Hofmeister. The body was not produced in the Munich factory. It was outsourced to the Karmann factory in Osnabrück end eventually finalized and fitted with the rest in Munich.
The coupés 2000 C a CS are easily recognizable by their particular front part. The boat-like nose features two twin-unit headlights covered with one glass. A similar design feature was again used by BMW in the 90's on the 3 and 5 Series. In some export markets like the USA and Great Britain the headlight units were replaced by sealed beam units.
In total 13 691 BMW Coupés E120 were built, mostly in the CS version equipped with 120 PS engine with two twin carburetors and manual 4-speed transmission. The one carburetor C version featured just 100 PS and most of those cars were supplied with the Automatic transmission. Only about 400 cars came with the stick.
See the table for the total production figures:
As you can see, most of the cars were built between the years 1966 and 1968. At the end of 1968 a succession model was introduced. It was called 2800 CS and featured a 6-cylinder engine and a longer, more conventional nose.
Although the Series E120 BMW replaced an 8 cylinder car, in the mid sixties it stood at the top of the BMW production line with its mere 4 cylinders. The press of that time as well as the customers praised it and valued for its characteristics. The only controversial thing was the shape of the front part. This was the reason why BMW restyled it for the successor (named E9 Series).
The price for the base coupé began on 17 000 DM. It was competing for example to the Mercedes 230 SL (23 - 24 thousand DM), Fiat 2300 Coupé or a rather sportier Porsche 911 (21-22 thousand DM).
Design (c) 2006 Muf