The new BMW 2 Series Coupe has made its public debut at the Detroit Motor Show. We’ve seen spy shots before, but the car has now been officially revealed, rivalling the likes of the Audi TT and Peugeot RCZ.
The BMW 2 Series is a coupe version of the 1 Series - just like the 4 Series is to the 3 Series. It looks a lot like its bigger brother: the short overhangs, Hofmeister kink and flared rear wheelarches all look familiar here. The car has the same wheelbase as the 1 Series it's based on - but there's an extra 30 litres of boot space over the hatch with the rear seats in place, giving a total of 390 litres. However, unlike the hatch it’s based on, the 2 Series is only available with two individual seats in the back.
Thenew BMW 2 Series Coupe replaces the BMW 1 Series Coupe in the range, and will cost from around £24,000. The car shown in the official pictures is the M235i model, which is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine. However, an even faster M2 model is likely to be offered in 2015, with a price of around £45,000.
The range-topping M2 will serve as a successor to the limited-production BMW 1M Coupe. The M2 will feature a turbocharged straight-six engine, producing around 350bhp, plus uprated suspension and the latest version of the M Differential.
A soft-top BMW 2 Series Convertible will also be offered around six months after the 2 Series Coupe goes on sale.
The BMW M235i will be offered as a Racing model to motorsport teams and drivers for a price of 59,500 Euros. Meant for track use only, the new car is ready to be used in events like the VLN Endurance Championship.
Like the standard BMW M235i, the Racing is powered by a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, but here it’s tuned up to 328bhp from 316bhp. BMW has also fitted a mechanical limited-slip differential, along with ABS, DSC and traction control.
BMW 2 Series engines
BMW says it’s focused on a sporty driving experience with the new car, which is why it’s left out lower-powered engines from the 1 Series line-up. There are three versions of the latest 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, with 141bhp in the 218d, 181bhp in the 220d and 215bhp in the 225d. Fuel economy and emissions range from 67.3mpg and 111g/km in the 218d to 60.1mpg and 124g/km in the 225d.
Petrol choices include a 181bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo in the 220i, while at the top of the range is the model in our pictures: the M235i. This isn’t a fully fledged ‘M’ car, but part of BMW’s new M Performance family. And it gets a version of the 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo with 321bhp (6bhp more than in the M135i and the same output as in the original E36 M3). The M235i sprints from 0-62mph in five seconds flat with a six-speed manual box; with an eight-speed auto, it’s 4.8 seconds.
Regular 2 Series models come in Sport, Modern or M Sport specs (the latter features 10mm lower suspension, 17-inch wheels and sportier looks). But the M235i has uprated M Sport brakes, variable-ratio steering and lightweight 18-inch wheels – options on other models. A mechanical limited-slip diff can be added at extra cost.
As with any BMW, the unveil of the new 2 Series doesn’t just signal a new model, but
a whole new family of cars. Next up will be a 2 Series Convertible, spied testing (above) with the fabric roof stowed. Expect it to follow the Coupé later in 2014.
A slinky four-door is said to be in the pipeline, too, but it’s not clear yet whether this will be badged as a BMW 1 Series saloon or a BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé. This model will rival the Audi A3 Saloon and Mercedes CLA.
The new BMW 2 Series will be available with M Performance parts across the range from launch in March 2014.
The M Performance parts – available on all petrol and diesel 2 Series variants – sees tweaks to the engine, suspension, aerodynamics and interior, helping boost all-round performance and agility without affecting emissions figures or fuel consumption.
Stiffer and 20mm lower suspension will be fitted, along with new dampers, lightweight brake discs and painted callipers. Available exclusively on the range-topping M235i model is a sports exhaust and mechanical limited-slip differential, improving traction and acceleration out of corners. There's also a new body kit and a smarter interior.
Those who opt for the 220d model also have the option of the M Performance Power kit, which boosts power by 16bhp and 40Nm of torque. All upgrades will be available from March 2014, with pricing to be announced closer to the car's official release date.