BMW 2-series (2013) first official pictures

Published: 25 October 2013

This is BMW’s new entry-level coupe: the 2-series. Yes, like the 4-series replacing the 3-series coupe, BMW has opted for an even number to set its sporty model apart from the regular 1-series hatchback. It’s on UK sale from March 2014, priced from around £25,000.

BMW 2-series: the styling

The same styling recipe used for the 4-series has been duplicated for the 2: you get a wider stance, longer wheelbase, and lower roofline. Perhaps some of the body surfacing lines are a little clumsy, and the taillights a bit blocky for what’s supposed to be a lithe-looking sports coupe, but overall, the 2-series should win plenty of fans on its visuals alone. Most handsome of all is the flagship M235i, with its 1-Series M Coupe-style M Sport bodykit, and 18in gunmetal alloys.

Is the M235i the fastest new 2-series?

Yes, thanks to a slightly uprated version of the M135i hot hatch’s powertrain, with power from the 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged straight six bumped up from 316bhp to 321bhp. As with all 2-series models, you get a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions, and rear-wheel drive only. Upgraded brakes – given away by blue-painted calipers – are standard on the M235i.

Equipped with a stick between the seats, the M235i will hit 62mph in 5.0sec (4.8sec with the auto) and run on to the same top speed as a £75k M5 super-saloon: a limited 155mph. Claimed fuel economy is 34.9mpg, with CO2 emissions of 186g/km. Given that the M235i will come close to matching the outgoing V8-powered M3’s acceleration, its £34,250 price tag looks like good value. It marks a £3680 premium versus a basic M135i three-door – worth it to escape the hatchback’s dumpy styling, surely.

Which other engines can I choose for my 2-series?

At launch, the cheapest 2-series will be the petrol 220i (£25,040/182bhp). There’ll also be a diesel version, the 220d, offering 182bhp with 280lb ft and 58.9mpg for £25,865.

The range will expand following its March 2014 launch, with the release of a £24,265 218d. There’ll also be a six-cylinder performance diesel variant: the 225d.

What’s new inside?

Not a lot: essentially you get a carryover 1-series dashboard, and a strict four-seater layout. It’s roomier than the 1-series coupe thanks to a hefty growth spurt: 72mm longer and 26mm wider overall, plus a 30mm wheelbase stretch. BMW claims occupants will find 19mm of extra front headroom and 21mm more rear legroom. The boot is bigger too: up from 370L in the 1-series coupe to 390L in the 2-series.

‘Sport’ and top-spec ‘M Sport’ trim sit above regular SE models in the 2-series range, each adding bigger alloys and bespoke cabin trim. The iDrive infotainment system, climate control, DAB radio and automatic wipers are all standard-fit across the entire range, while goodies like adaptive dampers and carbonfibre trim are on the account-draining options list.

What’s next for the BMW 2-series range?

Expected in 2014 is a soft-top convertible model, which will take on the new Audi A3 Cabriolet. Also in the works is a front-wheel drive MPV, the 2-series GT, based on the Concept Active Tourer shown at Paris 2012, which you can read about by clicking here.

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish

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