BMW launches new 2 Series
What's the news?
As leaked all over the internet earlier this week, here's the new BMW 2 Series Coupé. It replaces the 1 Series Coupé and, as with the 3/4 Series, will in time spawn a 2 Series Convertible. Petrol and diesel models will be available from launch (in March 2014), and the hot M235i is already grabbing the headlines. The new two-door makes its world debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January - and we're driving it straight after.
The 2 Series Coupé is remarkably different looking to the BMW 1 Series hatchbacks, especially around the back, where the lights look like little else made by BMW. Saying all that, the distinctive three-box profile is similar to the outgoing 1 Series Coupé's. Nonetheless, the 2 Series is larger than its predecessor: length is up 72mm to 4,432mm; the wheelbase is 30mm longer at 2,690mm; it's wider by 32mm; and the front and rear tracks have been increased by 41- and 43mm respectively.
There are two non-metallic and 10 metallic paint finishes to choose from. M Sport buyers can also specify the distinctive Estoril Blue colour. The M Sport cars have their own look regardless of colour, thanks to a 10mm drop in ride height, 17-inch double-spoke alloy wheels, enlarged front air intakes, side skirts, new bumpers, a rear diffuser and a restyled kidney grille. The M235i appears to come with its own embellishments, including a lip spoiler on the boot lid.
All those increases in size translate into more headroom, more leg space for the rear seat occupants and a larger boot. The rear seat backrest splits in two as standard, though can be upgraded to a 40:20:40 split.
Naturally, the 2 Series Coupé puts its power to the back wheels. Details of several engine variants have been released by BMW, including three 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesels, the 218d (143hp), the 220d (184hp) and the twin-turbocharged 225d (218hp). Emissions are as low as 111g/km in certain versions of the 218d and 220d with fuel economy as high as 67.3mpg (4.2 litres/100km). Petrol power initially comes in the form of the 220i Coupé or the M235i. The former uses BMW's 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 184hp and 270Nm of torque. It hits 100km/h from rest in seven seconds dead and yet can return 49.6mpg on the combined cycle (5.7 litres/100km).
All buyers can fine-tune their car's dynamics to suit their needs (and budget...). There's variable sport steering with a variable steering ratio; an upgraded M Sport braking package - or the even larger BMW M Performance system; Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled damping; lower and stiffer M Sport suspension; and even more focused BMW M Performance sports suspension with a 20mm ride height drop and bespoke springs and dampers.
Topping the 2 Series Coupé line-up is the M235i model, referred to as a BMW M Performance Automobile. That means it's not a fully-fledged 'M' car, but given how brilliant the BMW M135i is, we're not so worried. Under the bonnet is a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six petrol engine, producing up to 326hp and 450Nm of torque from just 1,300rpm. The manual version hits 100km/h from rest in five seconds even, while the automatic car knocks a couple of tenths off that time. Top speed is limited to 250km/h. Despite the performance, it's pretty efficient, returning 34.9mpg on the combined cycle (8.1 litres/100km) and emitting 189g/km in manual guise - and the automatic returns better numbers again.
The M235i has the M Sport braking system and variable sport steering as standard, along with unique 18-inch alloy wheels. Loads of BMW M Performance options will tempt buyers, including 19-inch alloys and a mechanical limited slip rear differential.
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