That would be the all-new 2014 2-Series; and BMW has all at once confirmed some key information and details about it, released plenty of pictures, and even set the basics around pricing—all for a vehicle that won’t have its formal debut until this next January’s 2014 Detroit Auto Show and won’t go on sale until sometime after that.
When it does arrive, the 2-Series will start at $33,025, for the base 228i, or $44,025, for the more performance-oriented M235i (both including the $925 destination charge).
The entry price of BMW ownership for 2014
That’s a significant bump up from the base 2013 BMW 128i price of $31,500, but well below the $41,425 entry price for the 2014 BMW 428i Coupe (the new replacement for the 3-Series Coupe). And if you’re wondering about the odd (or rather, even) badging, the 2-Series completes a new nomenclature for the brand, started a few years ago, that designates coupes and convertibles with an even number and sedans with an odd number.
Take just a brief glance at the pictures above (and we encourage you to take a longer look at the details), and you’ll note that BMW’s new 2-Series splices right into a long lineage of affordable coupes from the brand—going right back to the original BMW 2002, a vehicle that is to this day remains an icon in enthusiast circles.
One clever BMW detail, we think, is that the 2-Series employs an ’active’ hood system for pedestrian protection—so as also to preserve the classic, low-slung coupe proportions.
It’s small, but could be just right for many
The 2-Series is considerably larger than its 2-Series predecessor, too—and actually, for BMW enthusiasts, about the same size as the 1984-1994 ‘E30’ 3-Series…or, if you want another wild-card reference, about the size of the Scion tC. It’s nearly three inches longer (now 174.5 inches overall) than the 1-Series, while it’s grown 1.3 inches in width and 1.3 inches in wheelbase. Expect that to result in more legroom and more interior space in general; BMW notes that there’s nearly an inch of additional headroom in front and in back. Trunk space is up just a bit too, to 13.8 cubic feet.
Under the hood are the familiar TwinPower four- and six-cylinder engines that are already offered in most of the U.S. BMW lineup. In the 2014 BMW 228i, the 2.0-liter four makes the same 240-horsepower output as in those other models, with a peak 258 pound-feet of torque. The M235i is however definitely the performance pick of the lineup, and it upgrades to a 322-horsepower version of the TwinPower 3.0-liter in-line six.The 2-Series, BMW says, “will continue the decades-long tradition of premium sub-compact coupes with impeccable driving dynamics.”
M235i: already halfway to an M2?
And it sounds like there’s plenty of focus on athleticism. The M235i includes a slew of M-specific chassis upgrades, with an M Adaptive suspension, M Sport Braking system, variable sport steering, a sport exhaust, and Michelin Pilot Super Sports performance tires. The Adaptive M suspension and its electronically controlled shocks is optional on the 228i, but all 2-Series models get an electronic-locking rear diff.
A separate BMW Sport Line option for the 228i will drop the ride height by 10 millimeters, add 18-inch M light-alloy wheels, and other upgrades.
Both models include either an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual gearbox, and acceleration is impressive no matter which model you choose. The 228i models can get to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds, while the M235i can do it in 4.8 seconds. EPA fuel economy ratings for the 228i are estimated at 23 mpg city, 35 highway (22/34 mpg for the manual), while the M235i will be rated 22/32 mpg with the automatic or 19/28 with the manual.
No surprise, there’s plenty of room for options—and a much higher price yet
Dual-zone climate control will be standard on all 2-Series models, as well as the iDrive interface with a 6.5-inch display, while you’ll get a wide-screen 8.8-inch display if you opt up to the navigation system with Touch Controller. Other options will include Adaptive Headlights, High Beam Assistant, Parking Assistant, a rearview camera system, and BMW Apps functionality for Facebook and Twitter, among other services.
The all-new 2014 BMW 2-Series Coupe models will arrive in both 228i and M235i form in the first quarter of 2014—this next winter. And BMW notes that the M235i will be the first so-called M Performance Automobile to be offered in the U.S.; we’ll take that as a nod that there are others like it in the works, perhaps for the 3-Series or 4-Series.
We’re sure that a 2-Series Convertible is part of the plan for the near future; but is a 2-Series Gran Coupe? Or a 1-Series Sedan version? All yet to be determined.