Why, one might reasonably ask, would a carmaker bother building a replica of a cult car over 30 years old?
Well, because it can.
The folks at BMW feel the 2002 tii embodies the spirit of the early 1970s. And Mobile Tradition, the heritage division of the BMW Group, can provide an estimated 90% of all the required spare parts necessary to bring this four-wheeled monster to life.
Visitors to the BMW Museum in Munich can watch the work in progress in the museum's Glass Workshop. For the 250,000 or so annual visitors who visit the museum, this is an opportunity to follow the car's reincarnation.
Scheduled to continue until the end of the year, work on the replica will use several thousand original BMW parts. The core of the project is an original 2002 tii body. Those parts not available are coming from donor cars or are remanufactured by hand.
The new '73 will be equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 130 hp. In the era of the Beetle, a top speed of 190 km/hr (118 mph) with moderate fuel consumption of 9-liters/100 km (26.1 mpg) was nothing to sneeze at. But going from zero to 100 km/hr (62.1 mph) in 9.4 sec brought tears of delight to the car's owners.