The new BMW 2 Series Convertible has been spied almost completely undisguised ahead of its summer 2014 launch. This is the high-performance M235i variant, which will fight the Audi S3 Cabriolet in the £35,000 fast small soft-top market.
This M235i Convertible is given away by its M Sport bodykit, M Performance alloy wheels and upgraded brakes gripped by blue-painted calipers. The halo model also gets twin exhausts at the rear: four tailpipes are reserved for BMW’s ultimate M Division series.
It’s understood there will be an M2 later in the 2 Series’ life cycle, packing as much as 350bhp. The existing M235i uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, delivering 321bhp and 450Nm to the rear wheels.
Like the hard-top 2 Series, the 2 Series Convertible offers a four-seat layout. The canvas roof stows into a cubby hole behind the rear seats, minimising the impact on available boot space.
Unlike the larger 4 Series Convertible and the Z4 sports car, the 2 Series Convertible uses an old-school cloth roof. This weight-saving measure should also make the car cheaper than a folding hard-top: entry-level four-cylinder 220i and 220d versions are likely to cost from around £26,000.
The BMW 2 Series Convertible is expected to be launched in June 2014, joining the 2 Series Coupe and Active Tourer in the ever-swelling BMW range.