We’ve had more than a month to pour over early images of the new BMW 2-Series Coupe but now, the German maker says, we’ve only got a few more weeks to wait for a chance to actually eyeball the new sheet metal with the downsized 2-door scheduled to make its formal debut at January’s North American International Auto Show.
It will make its appearance alongside the fourth-generation BMW M3 and the all-new M4 Coupe on the floor of the newly expanded Cobo Center on the Detroit riverfront.
For those who haven’t followed BMW’s new nomenclature strategy, odd numbers will now be dedicated to sedans, even numbers to coupes. In other words, the new 2-Series Coupe is the replacement for the old 1-Series 2-doors.
Set to reach showrooms next year, this is more than a cosmetic update. In fact, the new model will be a full 2.8 inches longer and 1.8 inches wider than the outgoing coupe, with another 1.3 inches added to the wheelbase. That’s good news for passengers who will benefit most from the added space.
There will be two different versions of the 2-Series for the U.S. market, the BMW 228i and the performance-oriented M235i.
(For more on the new M3 and M4 models, Click Here.)
The more mainstream model will be driven by a 240-horsepower, turbocharged inline-four paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox – the first subcompact offering from BMW to get that beefy version of the TwinPower engine. It will launch from 0 to 60 in just 5.4 seconds, BMW claims, while yielding 23 mpg in the U.S. City cycle, 35 on the Highway and 27 in the EPA’s Combined test. An option 6-speed manual delivers 1 mpg less in all three categories.
The performance version will feature a 322-hp inline-six that can cut the launch time to just 4.8 seconds. It will deliver 19 mpg City, 28 Highway and 22 Combined with the 6-speed stick. Fuel efficiency jumps to 22/32/25 with the 8-speed automatic.
A keen eye reveals that the M235i badge isn’t your typical M designation. It is, in fact, an M Performance model which, in the latest BMW hierarchy, is halfway between a conventional version and the top-line M Series. Whether a true M model might follow remains to be seen.
Along with the bigger engine, the M235i will feature a sportier chassis tuning, including standard M Adaptive suspension, the M Sport Braking system, variable sport steering and Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires. “Even the exhaust has been specifically tuned for the M235i,” BMW notes.
(BMW and Mini will share a new 3-cylinder engine. Click Here to find out more.)
In keeping with other new models, BMW has taken several steps to improve fuel efficiency, including such details as the Air Curtain system which carefully channels air flow around the nose of the vehicle to reduce aero drag, as well as the maker’s Auto Stop/Start system which shuts the engine off briefly instead of idling. It remains to be seen if the new 2-Series Stop/Start has been revised from the current 3-Series package – which has been roundly faulted for its rough nature.
The German maker suggests that the new 2-Series is the spiritual successor to the legendary BMW 2002 line that helped make it a true global luxury contender. But when it comes to creature comfort , safety and performance features, the new line-up is anything but retro. Among the many driver assistance and infotainment systems that will be offered, BMW points to its Parking Assistant, rearview camera, auto-braking cruise control system, High Beam Assistant and Advanced Real Time Traffic Information alert.
Look for a formal introduction at the Detroit Auto Show next January but BMW is giving potential buyers some extra time to start saving up for the new coupe models, revealing that the 228i will start at $33,025, while the M235i will begin at $44,025. Both of those figures include $925 in destination charges.
(BMW Updates 5-Series GT, reveals Concept X4. Click Here for a closer look.)