BMW has lopped the top off its smallest coupe - meet the new 2015 BMW 2-series Convertible, successor to 2007's 1-series Convertible. Munich claims this last cabrio was the most successful in its segment, notching up some 130,000 sales.
It might be the cheapest cabriolet in BMW's range, but don't be fooled; the new 2-series Convertible is in fact the same length as an E36 rag-top.
This explains why BMW expects the car to appeal to die-hard 1- and 2-series fans, but also buyers of rivals such as the Audi A3 soft-top and even cars from the next size up (ie drivers coming out of older Audi A4 convertibles).
BMW 2-series Convertible (2015): what you need to know
Four models will be launched in the UK:
220i Convertible 182bhp 2.0 4cyl turbo, 152g/km CO2
228i Convertible 242bhp 2.0 4cyl turbo, 159g/km CO2
M235i Convertible 322bhp 3.0 6cyl turbo, 199g/km CO2
220d Convertible 187bhp 2.0 4cyl TD, 116g/km CO2
The diesel will be the likely best-seller in the UK. Hard to believe a decade ago, but now that diesels have quietened down so much - and muscled up - the lure of low CO2 even dominates the al fresco convertible marketplace.
The tech and spec of the 2-series cabrio
There are few surprises in store here. This is a decapitation of an existing model, so it's pretty regular 1/2-series fare in here.
Eight-speed Steptronic auto 'boxes are an option on many models, EfficientDynamics eco tech trims CO2 and mpg figures, while the chassis is pure old-school BMW. That means rear-wheel drive, five-link independent rear suspension and an optional limited slip diff on the M235i Convertible.
The cabrio does come with one or two clever surprises, however: the leather can be treated with SunReflective tech to cool it down in direct sunshine and this is the first BMW with real-time wireless navigation updates, so you've always got the latest mapping onboard. Naturally, many of these niceties will be added extras.
The growth spurt
The Two cabrio is a mite bigger in most dimensions; it's 72mm longer, 26mm wider and the wheelbase is stretched, too.
This helps explain the handy 30 litres extra bootspace (roof up), at 335. Even with the soft-top stowed, the boot is 20 litres bigger than before and Munich says it's made the boot opening bigger, too.
Electric operation of the roof is standard and takes 20 seconds. Poseurs rejoice: it can be operated at speeds of up to 30mph! More impressive is how BMW is able to claim a 20% increase in torsional rigidity - the better to quell body shake that can blight convertibles opened up to the elements.
When can I buy a BMW 2-series cabrio?
Expect to see the new BMW 2-series Convertible in UK dealers in time for the new 15-reg number plates by March 2015.
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