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Driven: All-new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe lands

All-new four-door BMW 2 Series to fill hole in local range with new customer base

13 Mar 2020

BMW Australia believes its first-ever 2 Series Gran Coupe small sedan will bring in a significant portion of new buyers to the brand, as the new model touches down locally to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan and the related CLA.


Speaking with GoAuto, BMW Australia head of product and market planning Brendan Michel said the addition of the 2 Series Gran Coupe to the range would bring almost entirely new customers to the brand.


“I would say (the 2 Series Gran Coupe is) almost 100 per cent conquest car for us,” he said.


“I think when you see how well positioned from a physical size point-of-view and a functionality point of view, this car sits between 1 Series and 3 Series, I think we’re pulling no punches with who we’re aiming this car at.”


Despite Australian customers showing a preference in recent years away from sedans and towards SUVs, Mr Michel said the increased size of the 3 Series over recent generations left an opportunity in the BMW line-up for an additional model.


“If you look at the growth of the 3 Series over the past two or three generations, it’s actually grown to a size where it’s left open a spot to sit exactly below the 3 Series in between the 3 Series and 1 Series,” he said.


He added that young families would likely be the most typical buyer demographic for the four-door 2 Series.


“I think with the extra functionality of the car, its extra size, its extra boot space, it’s probably going to appeal a lot more to younger families, late 30s to early 40s where they’ve got young families,” he said.


“That’s not to say that we expect we’ll have all sorts, even baby boomers will definitely be after this car as well.”


While not divulging exact sales predictions for the 2 Series Gran Coupe, Mr Michel was bullish about the model’s chances of success in Australia.


“We don’t want to sound too over-the-top at the moment but we have very high hopes for this car in the Australian market,” he said.


“We don’t really talk about the exact numbers, but I can tell you we’ll be trying to get our hands on every single unit out of Germany that we can.”


He also said he expects the Gran Coupe to be more popular than the regular 2 Series coupe and convertible line-up due to its lower price point and increased practicality, with BMW shifting 923 combined two-door units in 2019.


The 2 Series Gran Coupe range arrives in Australia with the same two-variant line-up as the platform-sharing 1 Series hatch, with the three-cylinder 218i – expected to be the volume seller of the range – kicking things off from $47,990 plus on-road costs.


The performance-focused M235i xDrive completes the range at $69,990, with the two models commanding a respective $5000 and $6000 premium over their respective hatchback counterparts.


BMW has priced the 2 Series Gran Coupe competitively against its main rival, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan, which starts at $50,900 for the A200 and tops out at $72,500 for the A35 AMG.


The other Benz offering that will compete with the 2 Series Gran Coupe is the CLA, which opens at $60,700 for the CLA200, while the M235i-rivalling CLA35 AMG asks $85,500.


Dimensionally, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is slightly smaller than the CLA, measuring 4526mm long and 1800mm wide with a 2670mm wheelbase, while the Benz measures in at 4668mm long and 1830mm wide with a 2729mm wheelbase.


Underpinning the 218i is a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine developing 103kW of power and 220Nm of torque, driving the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.


Given that the 2 Series Gran Coupe is 207mm longer than the 1 Series, it is also 55kg heavier, and as such it takes 8.7 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill – 0.2s slower than the 1 Series.


Official combined fuel consumption is pegged at 5.9 litres per 100km, while emissions stand at 135 grams of CO2 per km.


The M235i steps up to BMW’s most powerful four-cylinder engine, a 2.0-litre turbo unit developing 225kW/450Nm, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that drives all four wheels thanks to BMW’s xDrive all-paw set-up.


As with the 218i, the M235i is also 0.2s slower to 100km/h than the equivalent 1 Series, reaching the landmark figure in 4.9s.


The 2.0-litre unit sips 7.6 litres per 100km of fuel while emitting 173g/km of CO2.


Mr Michel said a third variant would be arriving before the end of the year, but would not reveal exactly what form it would take.


He added that there were no current plans to supplement the 25e petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain debuted in the X2 into the 2 Series, despite BMW Australia pushing to electrify the majority of its line-up over the coming year.


The flipside of the 2 Series’ weight penalty is that it scores an extra 50 litres of boot space at 430L, which can be expanded by folding the 40:20:40 split-fold rear pews.


BMW’s equipment list for the 2 Series Gran Coupe range largely mirrors that of the 1 Series, with the 218i including M Sport Package exterior styling, sport seats, cloth/Sensatec upholstery, BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite, 18-inch M Light alloy wheels, Driving Assistant, head-up display, Parking Assistant, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, Connected Package Professional with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, split-folding rear seats, LED head, fog and tail-lights and a six-speaker 100W sound system.


A range of performance-focused kit is added on the M235i such as M Sport Brakes, M Sport Steering, M rear spoiler, 19-inch M Light alloy wheels, Comfort Access including BMW Digital Key, electric M Sport seats finished in Leather ‘Dakota’ Upholstery, adaptive LED headlights and a 16-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system.


2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe pricing*

218i (a) $47,990
M235i (a) $69,990

*Excludes on-road costs

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