The new BMW 2 Series has put the Bavarian fanbase in a tricky position as it actuates a pure RWD skeleton whilst maintaining a clean and acceptable look for the small Coupe because lately, BMW has been on a wild ride of, let’s just say experimental designs. The choice of styling is questionable, a trend that has been deliberately created by BMW designers to keep the automotive space talking. This time is not the grille, proportions aside because they’ve nailed it but the light design especially at the rear is not what you’d call “easy on the eye at first glance”. At least it shares no visual cues with the 2 Series Gran Coupe, would’ve been a lot more horrid.
But to understand the whole design approach is not simply pointing out the weird aspects that have been applied but a nod to past BMW models and one concept car that is the 2002 Hommage. You cannot deny that this 2 Series has taken out a page from the concept car, not exactly ripping it out, plus there is an infused side profile look of an E30 3 Series at hand. It needs to be looked at for quite a while to see that the combination is sort of working out but it surely will sink in as time goes by. The talking point has been the exterior and we are not appreciating the fact that the rear-wheel drive platform lives on and the M Diff now exists in this range. It is simplified sportiness, maximized in a small arena that focuses on giving the driver a great experience.
As aforementioned, there are two BMW cars you notice in this design language while it aligns itself with the rest of the current BMW models. You start to see that with the minimal front apron design that has squared air intakes on the sport line model and they quickly shape into large triangular outlines with the M240i xDrive. The new headlights design is much smaller and houses full LED lights as standard, with optional Adaptive LED headlights that have BMW selective beam to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers.
The bonnet, doors, fenders all have a three-dimensional design surface that gives the look a masculine and sporty edge to at least compensate for whatever reason the rear design decided to look like. It is quite laughable that most prayed that the kidney grille should be of normal size and it is but the designers saw an opportunity to generate controversy elsewhere and the rear became the victim. The normal-sized grille has a purpose though, it has vertically arranged flaps that open automatically to improve engine cooling but are closed most of the time for aerodynamic purposes.
The wheels as standard are 17 inches in size but can be increased to 18 inches with the M Sport spec. The 19-inch wheels are available with the M240i xDrive
The chassis is actually something that should be talked about most and should be the main exciting point of the 2 Series Coupe as the whole car almost achieves a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. The foundation can be traced back to the current 4 Series and it has already proven itself as a great dynamic and performing car. With the short wheelbase of the 2 series and the application of several performance technologies such as the M Sport Differential and M Sport Braking which are standard with the M240i xDrive, it will undoubtedly be a joy to drive.
And to add to that valiant statement, the M sport suspension is optional and will come with the M Sport package whilst the Adaptive M Suspension with electronically controlled dampers will be optional. The standard suspension is not far off from sophistication as it comprises of a two-joint spring strut front-axle and five-link rear axle, with lift-dampers that provide extra damping through a system that rectifies imperfections in the road surfaces.
The powertrain options are familiar as they can be found on most BMW models with the designated badge that follows the series number. There are two petrol engines and one diesel engine that will be available at launch whilst the 230i motor will follow later on. All engines are available as standard with rear-wheel drive and an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, no manual gearbox has been mentioned. The optional 8-speed Sport Steptronic auto comes with paddle shifters and launch control function.
Kicking off the range is the 220i that houses a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol engine and it produces 184 hp (135 kW) and 300 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h sprint time is done in 7.5 seconds with a top speed of 236 km/h. Next up is the 220d which is the diesel variant and it comes with a 48V mild-hybrid system that is capable of providing an extra 11 hp (8 kW). The engine is a 2.0-litre turbodiesel 4-cylinder with 190 hp (140 kW) and 400 Nm of torque and it can do 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 237 km/h.
The mighty M240i which is now exclusively available with all-wheel drive in the form of the xDrive system comes with the tried and tested B58 engine, a 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbo in-line 6-cylinder that produces 374 hp (275 kW) and 500 Nm of torque. 0-100 km/h is completed in a snappy 4.3 seconds and the top speed is limited to 250 km/h.
The inside doesn’t offer anything that is particularly new to the BMW range as it is the same interior design as the rest of the pack. It is the usual emphasis on a sporty cabin feel, a bang on driving position, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and sport seats that can be optionally wrapped in Vernasca leather. As standard, the infotainment screen measures an 8.8-inch view whilst the instrument cluster is a 5.1-inch colour display placed in the middle of the dials. There is an option of upgrading to a premium look that features a 12.3-inch BMW Live Cockpit Plus display and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is three-zone climate control with one zone for the rear two seats. The boot capacity is 390 litres. Other optional features include a Harmon Kardon surround system, ambient lighting and a glass sunroof.
Prices will be announced when it launches in South Africa in the first quarter of 2022.
Source: BMW 2 Series Coupe Press Release