BMW 1500 marked a turning point in BMW's model range, heralding the advent of a
new range of sporting and compact touring cars.
Announced in 1961,
the BMW 1500 was the
first of the New Class generation. The 1500 was the first modern
BMW with a four-cylinder engine.
BMW 1500, 1962
Click for a larger image
The responsive, overhead-camshaft 4-cylinder
engine had a displacement of 1499 cc and produced 80 bhp at 5700 rpm. Weighing only 1060 kg, the
1500's top speed was 148 km/h. The 1500 also featured front disc brakes and
4-wheel independent suspension. The BMW 1500 was only available as a four-door sedan.
Car magazines and the public
were enthusiastic in their praise for the modern engineering in the 1500. BMW
manufacturing plants couldn't keep up with the demand, and only 23,807 vehicles
were made between 1962 and 1964. The 1500 was a middle-class family sedan,
but the German market demanded a car with higher performance. They did not have
to wait long, for BMW's engineers subjected the 1500 to further development,
evolving into the classic BMW 2002.
The 1500 thus
began BMW's modern sports-sedan tradition; a tradition that, more than any
other, means "BMW" to enthusiastic drivers the world over.
BMW Automotive Repair Manual :
BMW 1500/1502/1600/1602/2000 Touring/2002 : 1959 Thru 1977
by Peter G. Strasman, John Harold Haynes
BMW 1500-2002, 1962-1977 : A Documentation
by Walter Zeichner
The 96 page, hard cover book is 10 1/2" x 7 5/8" and contains color and black and white photos, drawings, charts, and catalog facsimiles. Each classic model is presented in its historic and developmental aspects.
02 Club Deutschland has several tables of specs on the New Class series,
beginning with the BMW 1500. In German.
Some BMW web sites
have info and a picture of the 1500. Try this one from
BMW Japan in Japanese.
more 02 links on the 1600, 1800,
2000, 2002, and the 2002 Turbo
Burkard Bovensiepen, the boss at Alpina, got started as a
BMW tuner in 1963 with the 1500 sedan. He raised the horsepower from 80 to 92 with the addition of twin Weber carburetors on short intake pipes. The quality of workmanship impressed even the
BMW factory, and a symbiotic relationship was forged that has endured through
Today's Alpina logo features those same