After a scattering of leaked photos earlier this week, BMW has formally announced the new 2 Series coupe. The latest take on the Ultimate Driving Machine will make its debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in January—oooo! Detroit in January!—and arrive at U.S. dealerships in March as the 228i and the M235i.
The BMW M235i, the first M Performance Automobile offered in the U.S., includes an impressive list of features; the one you care about is the turbocharged six-cylinder engine. This successor to the successful 1 Series coupe will continue the company’s tradition of premium sub-compact coupes. The 2014 2 Series will be offered at a MSRP $33,025 for the 228i and $44,025 for the M235i, including $925 destination and handling.
According to BMW, the 2 Series is designed to raise the bar in terms of dynamic ability, aesthetic appeal, and emotional allure; with a two-door body in classic three-box design typical of BMW coupes, four seats, rear-wheel drive, a choice of engines, and chassis setup focused squarely on sporting ability, the lineup will include a BMW M Performance Automobile: the BMW M235i coupe.
The F22 2 Series is significantly larger than its predecessor in the U.S., the E82 BMW 1 Series coupe; length is increased by 2.8 inches to 174.5, width by 1.3 inches to 69.8, wheelbase by 1.3 inches to 105.9 , front track width by 1.6 inches to 59.9, and rear track width by 1.7 inches to 61.3. Improved interior space includes 0.7" of extra front headroom and 0.8" of additional rear legroom. Trunk capacity increases by 0.7 cubic feet to 13.8, based on EU measures. Optimized aerodynamic details result in a low Cd of just 0.29 for the 228i Coupe.
Engines with BMW's ill-named "TwinPower" turbo technology deliver segment-leading figures in sporting ability and efficiency. The BMW 228i coupe is the first sub-compact BMW model to be powered by the 240-horse version of the two-liter four-cylinder engine. That engine features high-precision direct fuel injection, double-VANOS variable valve timing, and Valvetronic intake. The engine puts out 240 horses from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm, with 258 pound-feet of torque from 1,250 to 4,500 rpm. Acceleration measures 0–60 mph in 5.4 seconds with the eight-speed sport automatic. Top speed is 130 mph—155 mph with Sport Line or M Sport package. Preliminary EPA Mileage Estimates are 23 city/35 highway mpg, 27 combined for the eight-speed sport automatic and 22 city/34 highway mpg, 26 combined for the six-speed manual.
The almost-kinda-sorta-M M235i is the most powerful gasoline-driven BMW M Performance Automobile. It has a unique M Performance three-liter inline six—yes, with TwinPower technology—delivering 322 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Moreover, it features M-specific chassis tuning, which, for the U.S., will include standard M Adaptive suspension, the M Sport Braking system, variable sport steering, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Even the exhaust has been specifically tuned for the M235i. And yes, you may eschew the wonderful eight-speed automatic—if it's like the one in the previous M135i, it's been souped up for this hot rod!—in favor of a six-speed manual gearbox, as God intended.
Acceleration measures 0–60 mph in 4.8 seconds with the eight-speed sport automatic transmission—do you care if it's faster than the six-speed?—and top speed is limited to 155 mph. Preliminary EPA mileage estimates are 22 city/32 mpg highway and 25 combined for the automatic; 19 city/28 highway and 22 mpg combined for the six-speed manual. (I don't care! I don't care!)
What the press release calls "unmistakable BMW handling attributes and ride comfort" are thanks to rear-wheel drive, longitudinally mounted engines, perfectly balanced distribution of weight, and sophisticated chassis technology; the double-pivot spring-strut front suspension and five-link rear suspension with tuning are tailored to each 2 Series model. Variable sport steering, the M Sport braking system, and Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers are all standard on the M235i in the U.S. and optional on the 228i (you want these, trust me!); DSC stability control system including DTC and an electronic locking function for the rear differential are standard and the M Performance mechanical limited-slip differential available for the BMW M235i Coupe from launch through the Original BMW Accessories range. (Read that again: mechanical limited-slip differential!)
The high-strength, torsionally stiff body structure was developed on the basis of the F20 1 Series three- and five-door hatchback, which has been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating; extensive occupant protection is provided by safety equipment including front, side, and head airbags; pedestrian protection is optimized by the active hood and defined front end deformation zones. (Or they could, you know, get out of the way.)
The driver-focused cockpit with dual-zone automatic climate control is standard; the iDrive operating system is standard in the U.S., including a 6.5-inch Control Display in exclusive BMW flatscreen design; an optional navigation system includes an 8.8-inch screen and Touch Controller; there's a wide variety of storage compartments, storage areas and cupholders.
Selection of optional driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive include High Beam Assistant, Adaptive Headlights, Parking Assistant, rear-view camera, Driving Assistant, cruise-control system with braking function, extended integration of smart phones and music players, Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI), and extended functionality provided by BMW Apps for internet-based services like Facebook and Twitter.
The exterior paintwork of the BMW 2 Series coupe can be ordered in a choice of two non-metallic and ten metallic shades, while customers can also specify Estoril Blue Metallic as part of the M Sport line.—Paul Duchene
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