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Detroit show: BMW’s 2 Series breaks cover

Two-up: BMW has revealed the new 2 Series, which ousts the old 1 Series Coupe from the lexicon.

BMW’s even-number blitz continues as new 2 Series Coupe emerges for the first time


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25 Oct 2013

BMW’S replacement for the diminutive 1 Series coupe has emerged, sporting a new 2 Series moniker but a familiar rear-drive configuration and evolutionary styling.

Following in the wheel-tracks of its larger new 4 Series cousin – launched in Australia last week – the 2 Series adopts an even-number model name to give it clearer differentiation from the humble 1 Series hatch on which it is based.

The name also references the classic BMW 2002 model line of the 1970s, as do the three-box proportions. The slinky design also reduces the aero rating to a slippery 0.29Cd.

Set for its public premiere at the Detroit motor show in January, BMW’s smallest sportster range will make its way into Australian showrooms in the second quarter of 2014, although local pricing could well be made public by the end of this year.

The current 1 Series coupe is priced between $48,000 and $71,415 here in Australia, and it would be reasonable to expect the 2 Series to occupy the same territory. BMW sold 150,000 1 Series Coupes around the world over its lifecycle.

Five variants will be offered to start with in Europe, three with diesel power and two using petrol. These are, respectively, the 218d, 220d, 225d, 220i and range-topping 235i inline-six. BMW Australia says it’s doubtful all will come here, with the 218d the most likely omission.

The engines are largely familiar from applications in other BMW models. All engines are matched to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a ZF eight-speed automatic with Steptronic manual mode (for an additional cost).

The 220i entry petrol uses a 135kW (between 5000-6250rpm) and 270Nm (between 1250 and 4500rpm) 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo engine that propels the car from 0-100km/h in 7.0 seconds and uses as little as 5.7L/100km of fuel.

Expect a 180kW/350Nm 228i to join the range at some point, since it’s simply a re-tuned version of the same engine and is used in a range of BMW’s existing vehicles.

The cheapest oil-burner, and economy leader, will be the 105kW (at 4000rpm) and 320Nm (between 1750 and 2500rpm) 318d 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, which will chew as few as 4.2L/100km on the combined cycle.

Next up the diesel chain is the 135kW (at 4000rpm) and 380Nm (between 1750 and 2500rpm) 2.0-litre turbocharged 220d which also manages to use as little as 4.2L/100km. The 225d shares the same capacity but has a beefy 160kW/450Nm output, yet uses a mere 4.7L/100km.

Saving the best for last, the one performance enthusiasts will no doubt be giving the eye is the 235i, which shares its 3.0-litre turbo inline-six with the M135i hatch, but offers even more power: 240kW (up 5kW) and 450Nm, with a sprint time from 0-100km/h as low as 4.8 seconds.

The new model is a little larger than the outgoing 1 Series: length has increased by 72mm to 4432mm, width is up 32mm to 1774mm, the wheelbase grows by 30mm to 2690mm, front track width is up by 41mm to 1521mm and rear track width grows by 43mm to 1556mm.

BMW also claims improved interior space, including 19mm of extra headroom in the front and 21mm of additional legroom in the rear, while boot capacity has increased by 20L to 390L, with 60:40 split/folding seats an option only.

Signature elements such as rear-wheel-drive, longitudinally-mounted engines and 50:50 weight distribution all feature.

Underneath the new body sits a double-joint spring strut front axle and five-link rear axle with “bespoke tuning” and electric power steering, while variable ‘sport’ steering, an M Sport braking system and an Adaptive M suspension setup with electronically controlled dampers are optional.

On the topic of the bodyshell, the high-strength and torsionally stiff body structure is developed on the basis of the 1 Series. Safety equipment includes front, side and head airbags, pedestrian-friendly active bonnet and ‘defined front end deformation zones’.

The cabin features a typical BMW driver-focused cockpit, with all versions getting as standard automatic climate control and an iDrive operating system in conjunction with BMW Professional radio or navigation with a flatscreen.

Options – most of which will come to Australia – include an anti-dazzle High Beam Assistant, Adaptive Headlights, Parking Assistant, rear-view camera, Driving Assistant, Speed Limit Info with No Passing Info display, cruise control system with braking function, extended integration of smartphones and music players, Real Time Traffic Information, Online Entertainment, and extended functionality provided by apps for internet-based services such as Facebook and Twitter.

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