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The BMW New Class (German: Neue Klasse) was a line of compact sedans and coupes produced by German automaker BMW between 1962 and 1977. The New Class was the product that ensured BMW's solvency after the company's financial crises of the 1950s and established the identity of BMW automobiles as sports sedans. The term "New Class" referred to the 1.5–2–liter class of automobiles from which BMW had been absent since World War II.
The New Class began in 1962 with the 1500, a new automobile with a new engine. The 1500, and all subsequent New Class cars, had a unit body, fully independent suspension with MacPherson struts in front and semi-trailing arms at the rear, front disc brakes, and a front-mounted four-cylinder M10 engine.
Initially a series of four-door sedans, the New Class line was broadened to include the 2000C and 2000CS two-door coupes at the high end in 1965 and the 1600-2 two-door economy sedan at the low end in 1966. The 1600-2, later renamed the 1602, was itself expanded into the 02 Series 1600 and 2002. Using the engine and suspension of the original four-door design in a smaller and lighter two-door unit body, the 02 series, especially the 2002, caught auto enthusiasts' attention and established BMW as an international brand.
Replacement of the New Class line of cars began with the upscale 2000C and 2000CS coupes, which were replaced by the six-cylinder BMW E9 starting with the 2800CS in 1969. The New Class four-door sedans were replaced by the larger BMW 5 Series in 1972. The 02 Series was replaced by the BMW 3 Series in 1975, except for the economy 1502 model which continued until 1977.