So what exactly is the 2-Series? Fans are already dubbing the car the spiritual successor to the BMW 2002 of the 1960s and ‘70s, though to the layperson it’s just a replacement for the 1-Series Coupe. Under BMW’s new naming scheme, dynamic models like coupes and convertibles all have even-numbered names while regular models like sedans and wagons get odd-numbered names. Hence, BMW’s replacement for the 3-Series Coupe also spawned a new 4-Series model.
Note, pricing has increased along with the number on the trunk lid. The base 1-Series Coupe started at $31,500 for 2013, its final year on the market, making the base 2-Series $1,525 more expensive. However, the 2-Series is larger all around. Its length has increased 2.8 inches to 174.5 inches, its width is up 1.3 inches to 69.8 inches and its wheelbase is also 1.3 inches longer at 105.9 inches. This translates to more interior space and additional storage. Trunk capacity increases by 0.7 cubic feet to 13.8 cubic feet.
2014 BMW 2-Series CoupeEnlarge Photo
The M235i is powered by turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine, whose output registers at 322 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The M235i isn’t quite a dedicated M car but it does benefit from several go-fast bits developed by the M engineers. It features adaptive suspension, upgraded brakes, variable steering and Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires.
Even the exhaust has been specifically tuned for the M235i. For a feel of its performance, check out our drive report of the car’s European cousin, the M135i hatch.
A six-speed manual is fitted as standard across the range but an eight-speed automatic is available as an option. In the M235i, the auto enables 0-60 mph acceleration in just 4.8 seconds with top speed limited to 155 mph. The 228i will take you 5.4 seconds to achieve the same feat and its top speed is limited to 130 mph, though the latter can be raised to 155 mph when the car is equipped with available Sport Line or M Sport packages.
Fuel saving features include aerodynamic air curtains in the front bumper, an engine stop-start function and ECO PRO mode for the auto. 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.
2014 BMW 2-Series CoupeEnlarge Photo
You’ll get a wide-screen 8.8-inch display if you opt up to the navigation system with Touch Controller. Other options include Adaptive Headlights, High Beam Assistant, Parking Assistant, a rearview camera system, and BMW Apps functionality.
Numerous other functions can also be integrated into the car at a later stage using third-party apps--via a smartphone or the car’s built-in SIM card. These include real time traffic information, web radio functions and use of social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter. One app that is tailor-made for a car like the M235i is the M Laptimer.
As for safety, BMW’s Driving Assistant option comprises the camera-based Lane Departure Warning and Collision Warning systems. There are also front airbags, side airbags integrated into the seat backrests, head airbags for the front and rear seats, as well as knee airbags for the driver and front passenger. Additionally, all 2-Series models are fitted with belt force limiters and belt tensioners in the front, ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear, and a tire pressure monitor.
For pedestrian safety, the car has been designed with an active hood system: in the event of a collision, the system automatically raises the rear part of the hood. This creates additional deformation capacity, helping reduce the force of impact. In addition, relocating the intake air duct for the engine plus the air filter for the interior allowed the creation of a larger deformation zone in the hood area.
Stay tuned for the 2014 BMW 2-Series’ debut in Detroit in January, and look for a 2-Series Convertible to join the lineup later in 2014.