The arrival of the 1 Series hatchback-based BMW 2 Series family represents the continuation of the company’s current sports car naming strategy, mirroring the structure set by the 6 Series and more recently the 4 Series.
The all-new rear-wheel-drive 2 Series Coupe will replace the seven-year-old 1 Series Coupe from March 2014, and is destined to arrive in Australia around one month later headlined by the brand’s newest M Performance Automobiles model, the BMW M235i Coupe.
As revealed in a leaked document earlier this month, the M235i Coupe employs a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six petrol engine that produces 240kW at 5800-6000rpm and 450Nm at 1300-4500rpm – giving it a 5kW advantage over the M135i hot hatch and 15kW/50Nm more than the outgoing 135i Coupe.
The M235i sprints from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds when paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, making it one-tenth quicker than the hatch and eight-tenths sharper than the old coupe, and consumes a claimed 7.6 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, up 0.1L/100km on the hatch but down from the 135i Coupe’s 8.6L/100km rating.
The turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the BMW 220i Coupe makes its debut in a compact model from the brand, being already available in the 3 Series, 5 Series, X1 and X3. The engine produces 135kW at 5000-6250rpm and 270Nm at 1250-4500rpm. While it inherits the alphanumerics of the naturally aspirated 115kW/200Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder 120i Coupe, its output makes it a more natural successor to the 160kW/270Nm 3.0-litre inline-six 125i Coupe.
The 220i Coupe matches the 125i’s 7.0sec 0-100km/h sprint time, while fuel economy improves markedly from 8.1 to as low as 5.7L/100km.
Three diesel variants will be offered from launch: the 105kW/320Nm BMW 218d, the 135kW/380Nm BMW 220d, and the twin-turbocharged 160kW/450Nm BMW 225d. The 225d is the natural successor to the 150kW/400Nm 125d Coupe currently sold in Australia, slicing seven-tenths off its sprint time (now 6.3 seconds) and cutting consumption from 5.5 to 4.7L/100km.
BMW Australia’s 2 Series Coupe launch range is likely to include at least the 220i, 225d and M235i variants, though local product communications manager Scott Croaker says it is yet to finalise its line-up.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all but the 225d. An eight-speed automatic is the standard self-shifting gearbox. All models are also available with an eight-speed sports automatic, which offers faster gear changes, and features launch control and Eco Pro mode with coasting function.
All 2 Series cars score the Driving Experience Control system with Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport settings, while Sport Plus mode is available for cars equipped with one of either the sports automatic transmission, M Sport package, Sports line, Adaptive M suspension or variable sport steering.
At 4432mm long, 1774mm wide and riding on a 2690mm wheelbase, the BMW 2 Series Coupe is 72mm longer and 32mm wider than the 1 Series Coupe, and is 30mm longer between the wheels. BMW claims the new car’s larger dimensions have liberated around 20mm extra front headroom and rear legroom, while the boot grows 20 litres to 390L in total.
The BMW 2 Series is clearly distinguished from its 1 Series sibling from a design perspective, boasting sleeker headlights with a sporty kink near the kidney grille. It scores shorter front and rear overhangs than its 1 Series Coupe predecessor, but largely retains the original’s distinctive profile.
The cabin shares its fundamental layout with the 1 Series hatch, though sports a fresh instrument cluster design, revised dashboard and centre console features, and a new freestanding central display screen.
Sport and Modern lines and the M Sport package are available to further personalise the interior and exterior look of all variants in the 2 Series range.
BMW claims the new 2 Series will offer the most extensive range of driver assistance systems in the compact segment, with options including high beam assistant, cruise control with braking function and speed limit info display, lane departure and collision warning systems, and a rear-view camera.
The 2 Series’ infotainment system features internet-based services with integrated applications, allowing access to real-time traffic information, internet radio, and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
The BMW 2 Series will launch with a sub-$50,000 price tag in Australia early in the second quarter of next year.
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