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.