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New models - BMW - 2 Series - Convertible

BMW 2 Series Convertible kicks off from $54,900

2 enhanced: A stiffened chassis and stronger body have sharpened the new 2 Series Convertible handling compared with the outgoing 1 Series.

Petrol BMW 2 Series variants given Convertible top-chop but diesel left behind

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BMW logo27 Jan 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

BMW's entry-level 2 Series Convertible will cost just $3900 more than the equivalent 2 Series Coupe making it the best value drop-top in the propeller-badged range when compared with coupe equivalents.

Due to go on sale late next month, the 2 Series Convertible range starts at $54,900 before on-road costs for the 220i – an increase of 7.7 per cent over the fixed roof Coupe variant, but the best value option of the range is the $85,800 M235i Convertible which has only increased by 7.3 percent over the Coupe.

Sitting in the middle of the range is the 228i Convertible which has the greatest increase in price over the regular two-door variant of 8.0 per cent, or $4500, at $68,900.

Compared with other BMW coupes, the smallest option carries the smallest premium to upgrade to wind-in-the-hair driving, with entry-level 4 Series Convertibles costing more than 24 per cent, or $17,000 more, while the base 6 Series coupe requires an investment of an extra $16,000 (9.0 per cent) to upgrade.

BMW says the new 2 Series Convertible will “build on its inherited legacy” going further and attracting more sales than the 1 Series Convertible which it replaces.

Sales of topless cars in Australia have historically fallen behind the performance of other global regions – including those with less temperate climes, but BMW Australia corporate communications manager Lenore Fletcher said the new 2 Series Convertible is more than just a regular drop-top car.

“With the weather that we have here in Australia it is totally suited to convertible life and the 2 Series, given its dynamic chassis, will offer an enhanced driving experience for anyone who wants to put the top down,” she said.

“Going back several years with the rag-top cars I think that the Australian weather conditions were a lot harder on them... but that's certainly not the case anymore.

“You can do anything in convertibles today and it really has come on leaps and bounds – even the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels. Convertibles used to be known for having high NVH and there was a lot of talk about flexing of the chassis, scuttle shake, but that's all in the past now.

“These vehicles are comparable to sedans in a lot of cases.” At this stage the 2 Series Convertible range extends to three petrol variants with no plans to carry the 220d diesel powertrain over from coupe to Convertible, with BMW citing insufficient predicted volume as the deciding factor.

Unlike its bigger 4 Series sibling the 2 Series Convertible continues the trend of the superseded 1 Series convertible with a fabric soft top rather than a folding metal hard top.

Despite the fabric roof, BMW says additional sound insulation has reduced road and wind noise by up to 7dB for a more comfortable roof-up ride, and it can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds, while traveling at speeds of up to 50km/h.

Comfort is further enhanced by a specially programmed climate control system, which takes into account driving speed, and makes adjustments to temperature and airflow to compensate.

Generally speaking, levels of equipment in each Convertible variant align with the equivalent Coupe version including engine configurations and while BMW has not yet released performance figures, engine output in each case remains the same.

Entry-level 220i Convertibles get the same 150kW/270Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder of the coupe but the additional roof mechanism weight has added 0.6 seconds to the zero to 100km/h dash, which now takes 7.6 seconds.

The extra roof weight has less of an effect on the M235i performance thanks to its mighty 240kW 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder, with 100km/h dealt with in 5.0 seconds – 0.2 seconds slower than the tin-top.

BMW has not published acceleration figures for the mid-range 228i Convertible but it is likely to take a similar hit to the 5.6 second 0-100km/h acceleration of the 228i coupe, which uses a higher strung version of the 220i engine with 180kW and 350Nm.

All versions drive the rear wheels through an eight-speed switchable automatic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters, BMW's Driving Experience Control, Connected Drive and TeleServices, reverse camera, navigation with Business accessed through the 6.5-inch screen (or 8.0-inch with Professional grade navigation).

Moving up to the 228i Convertible adds 18-inch wheels in place of standard 220i 17-inch hoops, active cruise control, bi-Xenon headlights, no-cost Sport or Luxury trim levels, leather seats and extra exterior high-gloss enhancements.

Top of the range M235i Convertibles have a distinctive M Sport bodykit with unique 18-inch wheels, adaptive suspension and steering, bigger brakes, individual leather interior choices, a special M steering wheel and Professional grade navigation.

BMW 2 Series Convertible pricing*
220i Convertible (a) $54,900
228i Convertible (a) $68,900
M235i Convertible (a) $85,800
*Excludes on-road costs.

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