BMW is finally embracing the even number, after years of 1, 3, 5 and 7 Series, last year with the release of the F30 3 series the 3 coupe was dropped from the line up to make way for the 4 Series coupe. And now barely 6 years after its release the 1 Series coupe has been killed off to make way for the new baby coupe in the range, the 2 Series. Basically all BM’s new two doors will be even numbered while the rest of the family will remain odds. So what is new with the 2?
Best to start with how it looks, as let’s face it after badge kudos that’s the main reason people will buy this car. Things look promising from the off, it no longer shares the front end of the hatch backed 1; instead it gets its own nose to match its individual 2 Series branding helping to separate the car more in the range. However underneath the new body it is usual 1 series fare, the car sits on roughly the same platform and will be available with the same choice of engines, but more on that later.
BMW have worked hard to beef up the 2 Series. BMW’s press release is keen to mention the cars sporting intension every second sentence so I best mention that yes the car does indeed exude some sportiness. However personally I think a darker colour suits the 2’s shape better when comparing the red and champagne coloured cars in the photos. Big wheels also help, M Sport adds 18’s, with the lighter Modern line spec car looking like its sitting on coasters despite them being 17 inchers. Much like every BMW ticking the M Sport trim package option is a good idea, deeper skirts, diffusers, front lips and those wheels really aid any BMW’s appearance and the same can be said for the 2. The whole car has been pulled, squished and widened to fit that sporting brief, the 2 is 11cm longer than its hatch backed brother and in M Sport guise the 2 sits 10mm lower. Compared to the outgoing 1 Series Coupe the 2 is bigger in every conceivable way. Low roofline, long bonnet, short overhangs and a passenger compartment positioned most definitely south of the 2’s equator make for the usual but excellent coupe recipe. And combined with the aforementioned stretching and widening make for quite a handsome little car. Although I still stand by my darker colour plus M Sport opinion to really set it off.
Engines, nowadays even the names of BMW’s power plants provide any owner extra man points down the pub. From launch the 2 will be available with BMW’s range of TwinPower units (see what I mean, awesome name). These come in diesel and petrol flavours and that twin bit in the name stands for twin turbo, so whatever engine you choose performance and economy are achievable. The pick of the bunch is the 3 litre, 326bhp, 450Nm of torque 235i, which when optioned with launch control can get the 2 from 0-62 in 4.8 seconds. As eluded to earlier all this performance doesn’t come at the expense of economy, the 235i still manages 37mpg combined. Of course if economy is more important to you than the power of three hundred odd horses then perhaps the 220d will suffice. It manages 64mpg and despite its more modest 184bhp can still dispatch 0-62 in 7.2 seconds albeit with a slightly duller soundtrack compared to the 235 petrol. All cars will come standard with 6 speed manuals or the option of an 8 speed auto.
A smaller 220i petrol will also be available from launch in March 2014. I should also mention at this point that there will be 4 trim levels to choose from, SE, Sport, Modern and M Sport. Shortly after launch two more diesels will be added to the line-up too, a 218d and 6 cylinder 225d.
Unsurprisingly the technology and options available on the 2 are quite comprehensive. Buyers get a 6.5-inch colour display, six speaker sound system with DAB radio, AUX and USB sockets, automatic climate control, multi-function leather steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers fitted as standard. And as well as the aforementioned 8 speed auto box and launch control buyers of the 235i M Sport can also option a whole heap of performance goodies.
Braking and suspension can be upgraded for as BMW puts it, the enthusiastic driver, by optioning the BMW M Performance braking system/suspension package which gives larger ventilated and riveted discs and callipers painted in your choice or red, orange or yellow. Electronically controlled dampers can also be spec’d or if you like things a bit more old school you can simply have stiffer spring and damper settings, offering buyers a 20mm drop in ride height, bespoke dampers and shorter, red-painted springs, mmm, racy!
So what is the price for all this new BMW coupe’ness? A new 218d SE starts at £24,265 but as that car isn’t available from launch you’d be wise to budget £25k for a 220i. But of course if you want the 235i M Sport, which let’s face it is the pick of the bunch, prices start at £34,250. However once a couple of those performance options have been… well, optioned, that price is likely to rise closer to £40k which does seem a little steep for a little coupe. None the less it shapes up to be a good one with enough sporting potential to match the rakish coupe good looks.