BMW has strayed far from the lean, lithe driving machine that first made its reputation: the legendary 2002 of the late 1960’s.
And the company is a bit sensitive about it.

Is the 1-Series BMW's spiritual succesor to 2002?
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In a recent Automotive News article, the BMW General Manager of Product Planning was quoted as describing the upcoming 1 Series as, “the purest BMW we have.” Indeed, the company apparently sees the 1 Series as filling the old 2002’s market niche, one abandoned by the upscale luxury move of the 3 Series. 
The 1 Series is due next year, reportedly as both a coupe and a convertible. Interestingly, the 2007 European 1 Series is actually a hybrid. Though BMW doesn’t currently make much of that attribute, their “EfficientDynamics” technology, introduced on the 1 Series but expected to spread throughout the BMW model range, is functionally hybrid technology: an auto start-stop function and brake energy regeneration, along with using electric power for the water pump and power steering, rather that the normal engine-driven components.
The 1 Series was first introduced in Europe in 2004. It got a mild revision in 2007, to include a hatchback version. (Hatchbacks are much more popular in Europe than in America.) The hybrid technology was introduced in the 2007 model. Total 1 Series sales in the European Union exceed 200,000.

Is the 1-Series BMW's spiritual succesor to 2002?
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The 2008 European versions of the 1 Series are expected to be available with engine options as dramatic as a six cylinder with 255 hp, and a rumor that there may be a version with more than 300 hp.
Which means the 1 Series is actually the spiritual successor to the Yenko Nova.

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