This year, the second-generation BMW 2-series will be available in 180-horsepower turbo four-cylinder or 370bhp-horsepower turbo inline-six forms.
On the inside, it’s a 2+2 with a familiar cabin seen in all new-generation Bavarian models. However, this is a driver-oriented cockpit, with a heads-up display, optional sunroof, M-specific steering wheel and seats, and a large touchscreen on the centre console.
There is some familiarity to the interior from current BMWs, with the infotainment system being controlled by a touchscreen, the heating system controlled by conventional controls, and the familiar row of auto-moving shortcut buttons. Analog instruments will be standard with the option of a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. It may also come with sports seats and leather steering wheels, with the M240i xDrive getting a glass moonroof that will be optional on the 230i.
Optional equipment includes ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, a 9.2-inch windshield reflected head up display, and Apple CarPlay. The F44 2 Series can be unlocked via near-field communication by holding a smartphone near the door handle, and can start the engine by placing the smartphone in the wireless charging tray. The digital key can also be shared with up to 5 other smartphones.
Later this year, the 2 Series will once again arrive with an eight-speed automatic transmission mated to a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4. You’ll find BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six under the hood of the all-wheel-drive M240i xDrive. This I-6 makes a very punchy 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, 17 more horsepower and 26 lb-ft more torque than was in the last-generation M2.
The base M240i trims will be powered exclusively by its rear wheels at launch, but the more powerful M240i trims will feature rear-biased AWD. According to BMW, with all-wheel traction and that 382 hp, the M240i is capable of scooting to 100 kmph in just 4.1 seconds; top speed ranges from 210 kmph to 250kmph, depending on options.
A market launch of the G42 BMW 2 Series Coupe is set to begin later in the year, following the global premiere. In the coming year, we might see the second-gen in a revamped form of the M2.
BMW’s 2 Series Gran Coupe works well on many levels. If you’ve always wanted a BMW sedan but couldn’t stretch your budget as far up as the 3 Series, the 2 Series is sure to have tremendous appeal. The high-quality cabin delivers a genuine BMW experience, the performance of the diesel engine is strong, the ride is extremely comfortable and it is pleasant to drive too. Even the zingy petrol with 188hp should be bags of fun. Yes, the cabin is a bit cramped like the rest of the cars in this class and not everybody will fall for its looks, but if you are looking for a more accessible and affordable BMW sedan that does most things right, the 2 Series Gran Coupe could just be it.