BMW has released first details of its all-new second-generation 2 Series Coupe at least six months before the car enters UK showrooms.
Aimed fairly and squarely at keen drivers, the newcomer is set to arrive early in 2022. Prices will start from £34,980.
There’s no getting away from the sporting background of the new coupe. BMW bosses say the car is targeted at “customers at the sporty end of the driving system seeking an emotionally rich driving experience”. That’s all fair and well of course, but many coupes will still find themselves doing the weekly shop at the supermarket.
Wider, longer and lower than its predecessor — it’s 4,537mm long and 1,838mm wide, but is also 28mm shorter at just 1,390mm tall — the new 2 Series Coupe is also lighter, thanks to more aluminium being used in its construction. One thing which is immediately noticeable is the fact the 2 Series Coupe, unlike the larger 4 Series, enjoys a more conventional front end, with a shallower kidney grille design.
Retaining rear-wheel drive as standard — though four-wheel drive is available in the form of BMW’s excellent xDrive — the new two-door model also has a stylish cab-rear silhouette. And with its extended wheelbase — 51mm longer than its predecessor — BMW says it has a new “powerful and athletic appearance”.
It will be available in three guises from launch, each using an eight-speed automatic gearbox with Launch Control and Sprint mode functionality. They’ll be joined by a 241bhp 230i variant next summer.
At launch the entry-level petrol 220i, fitted with a 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine delivering 181bhp and 221lb ft to the rear axle, will be joined by the 220d. This produces 188bhp and 295lb ft from its mild-hybrid 2.0-litre diesel four-cylinder.
The eye-catching M240i xDrive, which has a 3.0-litre petrol straight six and four-wheel drive, will have an output of 369bhp and 369lb ft. It will be the range-topper until the full-blown M2 Coupe arrives later next year.
Expect the M2 to produce up to 410bhp in standard form, and increase closer to 430bhp in Competition spec. It’ll also be available with either a standard six-speed manual or a new eight-speed torque-converter automatic with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.
While BMW boffins have added an electronic rear differential in line with its heightened handling focus, they’ve also programmed its xDrive four-wheel drive system to ensure it’s heavily rear-biased in true BMW sports car fashion.
In fact, BMW also emphasises the electronically locking M Sport differential on the rear axle will allow for “easily controllable drift manoeuvres.” Perfect for thrillseekers, or those keen to impress their mates at a trackday.
As for performance, the 220i will cover 0–62mph in 7.5 seconds with a top speed of 146mph and returning up to 44.8mpg at the pumps. The £36,900 220d is event faster, thanks to its extra torque, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds. Top speed remains the same at 146mph. Significantly though, thanks to its new 48-volt mild-hybrid system, the 220d is predicted to return up to 60.1mpg and emit between 122 and 132g/km of CO2.
The £45,795 M240i xDrive halts the stopwatch at 4.3 seconds when it hits 62mph from standstill, and will carry on to an electronically-restricted max of 155mph. Impressively, it’ll also return 34.9mpg on the WLTP cycle, and emit between 185 and 200g/km of CO2.
It’s worth highlighting the M240i gets a few more chassis tweaks to help cope with the 369bhp it delivers. In addition to a wider front and rear track, it also benefits from extra chassis bracing and M Sport brakes. The option sheet also allows buyers to add electronically controlled dampers and adaptive M suspension.
Oh, and the attractive shallow grille on the front of the 2 Series Coupe features BMW’s active air control flaps. These automatically open and close depending on the needs of cooling or greater aerodynamic efficiency. And the sleek LED headlights are said to be inspired by BMW’s 02 series of small cars.
The 2 Series Coupe range will only be available with the M Sport spec, which is certainly no bad thing. That means a sporty looking front apron, 18-inch alloys, plus dark gloss exterior trim and dark metallic finishes on the lower sections of the skirts and rear diffuser.
Not surprisingly, the M240i looks even sportier, with 19-inch alloys, more aggressive bodywork, a rear lip spoiler and a dual-exit exhaust.
The four-seat cabin is dominated by standard-fit front sports seats, which can be optionally heated and electrically adjustable. Black Alcantara and Sensatec man-made leather upholstery is standard, though buyers can choose from an additional three colours. As an optional extra, they can also have plusher Vernasca leather.
There’a also a sports-style multifunction steering wheel, behind which the “driver-focused” dashboard is lifted pretty much straight from the 4 Series. That means the same 12.3-inch central screen and 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, the latter loaded with specific M Sport graphics.
And as you would expect, there’s a host of M-branded bits and pieces, including the floor mats, pedals and treadplates.