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BMW previews new-generation 2 Series coupe

Six-cylinder power retained by top-spec BMW 2 Series, turbo fours for the rest

18 May 2021

BMW has released the first official images of its upcoming 2 Series coupe as the new-generation sportscar nears the end of its development with production due to start in the third quarter of this year.


Not to be confused with the 2 Series Gran Coupe which rides on the same front-wheel-drive platform as the 1 Series, the new 2 Series Coupe and Convertible are underpinned by a new rear-wheel-drive/AWD platform with all versions save for the range-topping M240i xDrive set to channel their power exclusively to the rear axle.


There is little chance of mistaking the two for each other in the metal however with the coupe and convertibles taking on a far more traditional cab-back layout than the stretched-out four-doors.


Compared to its predecessor, the new 2 Series Coupe flaunts a much squarer look in regard to its overall sculpting but with all of the preview images being of a heavily camouflaged development car, it is hard to draw many other concrete conclusions as to the new model’s styling.


Thankfully the brand has been more forthcoming when it comes to the line-up and engine options with four variants being confirmed thus far by BMW – offered in both coupe and convertible guises – however we expect there to be fifth one emerging in the not too distant future in the form of a new-generation M2 performance flagship.


Starting at the lower end of the range, the 218i will be motivated by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 100kW of power and 220Nm of torque with transmission duties across the range set to be handled by the familiar eight-speed automatic.


According to BMW, the base model will stop the clock from 0-100km/h in 8.8 seconds and push on to a top speed of 210km/h, 0.1s and 5km/h slower than the current 218i Gran Coupe.


Next up is the gruntier 220i which will utilise the same engine but in a higher state of tune to develop 135kW/270Nm, slashing the 0-100km/h time down to 7.2s while upping the top speed to 230km/h.


With a v-max of 250km/h and 0-100km/h time of just 5.2s, the 230i will step the 2 Series’ performance game up considerably thanks to its 185kW/350Nm outputs, again from a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine.


Fuel economy for the trio of four-bangers ranges from 7.2-7.6 litres per 100km depending on the variant while CO2 emissions range from 157-170g per kilometre.


At the top of the range will be the aforementioned M240i xDrive which as the name might suggest, is powered by the same – albeit detuned – turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine as the bigger M440i good in this guise for 275kW/500Nm.


Driving all four wheels via a fettled version of the previously mentioned eight-speed automatic transmission, the M240i xDrive will spring from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds and not stop until it hits 250km/h.


As you would expect from a much larger and more powerful mill with the added mechanical drag of all-wheel drive, fuel economy and emissions both suffer in comparison with the lesser variants; sitting at 8.2L/100km and 188g/km respectively.


Overall body stiffness on the new model is up a claimed 12 per cent over the old 2 Series while the M240i will also score an electronic M Sport limited-slip differential as standard to help maximise its potency both on road and track – adaptive dampers will be optionally available on all variants.


Being a German sportscar, plenty of development work has been done at the Nurburgring which the brand says serves “as the ultimate test for wheel suspension, chassis, damping, steering and braking system”.


“In addition, testing on public country roads around Munich and at the BMW Group test site in Maisach ensure that the dynamic driving qualities of the new BMW 2 Series coupe can also be experienced in everyday traffic and under different road conditions,” BMW said in a statement.


“By extensively testing all drive and chassis systems, the development and test engineers ensure that the engine's performance characteristics go hand in hand with precisely controllable handling in every situation, fascinating cornering dynamics, optimised traction in all weather and road conditions and perfectly balanced ride comfort.”


No official timeline has been released yet as to the release of the new 2 Series, however the brand’s previous form points to a July reveal with previous previews coming between one and two months in advance of the official debut.

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