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BMW 2 Series update lands

2 birds one stone: BMW’s entry-level 2 Series Coupe and Convertible has crept up in price but gets more performance and kit thrown into the deal.

Sedan addition still under consideration for BMW 1 Series or 2 Series range

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BMW logo21 Oct 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

BMW Australia is planning to maintain the sales momentum of its 2 Series Coupe and Convertible range with an engine and specification update that lands this week, but the car-maker is still considering further boosting the appeal of the range with a niche-filling sedan.

A small sedan concept that could fit into either the 1 Series or 2 Series range as a production model was revealed at the Guangzhou motor show in 2015 and, while that model will be limited to the Chinese market, it has sparked continued interest from global markets including Australia.

Speaking at the Australian launch of the updated 2 Series Coupe and Cabriolet ranges, BMW Group Australia head of product planning Shawn Ticehurst said the growth of the 1 Series range and popularity of the new X1 highlighted the potential at the small end of the luxury market.

“It’s talked about but it’s not confirmed for the future, but that growth of small premium cars around the world, you’re seeing big growth,” he said. “We are seeing it here with X1 and just the fact that 1 Series is growing.

“Certainly a sedan in that segment would be a nice addition to the range.”

While the Concept Compact Sedan started the hype for a small sedan last year, Mr Ticehurst dowsed any hopes for an Australian market version, but said a more suitable version would be closely looked at.

“There’s the car that was announced for China – built in China for China – so we won’t get that car, but if something came in the future we would certainly be open to it.”

Mr Ticehust explained that speculation over details was difficult ahead of official confirmation of a sedan but said the variant would be a good fit for Australia as long as it could offer enough differentiation from the small hatch and coupe/convertible.

“Yes potentially. As long as its got a distinctive character and targets a distinctive market.

“I suppose by definition as a four-door it has got to have a bit more practicality to it but you would still want a very good looking car and sporty to drive.”

A 1 Series or 2 Series sedan would go head to head with Audi’s A3 Sedan and the CLA from Mercedes-Benz, and while such models would be considered ‘niche’ Mr Ticehurst explained that it still has the potential to sell in respectable numbers.

“3 Series GT and 4 Series Gran Coupe are good examples that do well and sell well. They’re really volumes we should consider on top of 3 Series sedan and 4 Series.

“3 Series GT does well for itself and we sell about 20 a month and the people that buy it like the fact that there’s only 20 sold per month. It’s good that we can offer these cars here. It offers people choice especially when you are growing volume.”

For now, the 1 Series range will be limited to the five-door hatch, while the 2 Series will continued to be offered as the fixed roof Coupe and soft top Convertible, which has now been updated with new engines and spec to align with the 1 Series update in June 2015.

At the entry level, the 220i now has a beefier B48 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol that ups the output stakes by 5kW and 20Nm for a total of 135kW and 270Nm.

Fuel consumption in the 220i Coupe is down to 5.8 litres per 100km from 6.0L/100km, while CO2 emissions have dropped from 138g/km to 133g/km. In the Convertible, the figures are 6.1L/100km and 138g/km.

A tuned-up 2.0-litre also powers the mid-range variants but a power-up of 5kW to 185kW has scrapped the previous 228i badge in favour of a new 230i moniker.

Torque remains at 350Nm but zero to 100km/h acceleration takes 0.1seconds less at 5.6s for the Coupe and 5.9s for the Convertible.

Fuel use has dropped by 0.4L to 5.9L/100km and CO2 emissions are 134g/km in the Coupe, while the 230i Convertible drinks 6.2L/100km and produces 142g/km.

The performance flagship has also undergone a similar power upgrade and renaming makeover, with the M235i making way for the M240i which brings an extra 10kW and 50Nm from the 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder.

With 250kW and 500Nm under their belts, the Coupe can smash through the 100km/h barrier from zero in 4.7 seconds, while the drop-top takes 4.7s. Fuel economy has dropped by 0.6L to 7.1L/100km (7.4L Convertible) and CO2 emissions are down to 163g/km (169g Convertible).

The previous diesel 220d Coupe has been put out to pasture as part of the update.

Pricing has been adjusted with the engine revisions with the 220i up by $2400 to $51,300 before on-road costs for the Coupe and $58,300 for the rag roof, but BMW says that the extra cost is offset by more standard equipment.

The base versions gain bi-Xenon headlights with washers, folding anti-dazzle exterior mirrors, auto parking functions, an interior light package, extended information via the interior cluster and Driving Assistant.

With its new badge, the 230i costs $2000 more than the discontinued 228i Coupe at $61,900, while the cabriolet is up $3000 to $71,900.

On top of the 220i kit, the 230i gets M Sport brakes, an M rear spoiler for the Coupe, 18-inch wheels, Hexagon cloth/Alcantara upholstery for the Coupe and Dakota leather in the Convertible, Navigation System Professional, Comfort Access and electric seat adjustment.

At the top of the pack, the M240i has been reduced by $2600 compared with the outgoing M235i. Getting into an M240i Coupe costs $74,900, while its open-top sibling rounds out the sub-M2 range at $83,900.

The flagship gets fewer sweeteners with the update with Adaptive Headlights with Selective Beam and 12-speaker harmon/kardon audio system in addition to the 230i equipment list.

The Coupe and Convertible pair appear to be bucking the sportscar sales trend which typically spikes immediately after launch but rapidly drops off soon after, but the 2 Series Coupe and Convertible manage a steady figure of mid-to-high 100s each month since the launch in late-2014.

To the end of Sptember, BMW has sold 1683 2 Series’ in Australia, putting it in fourth place in the sub-$80,000 sportscar segment, behind the Ford Mustang (6421), the Toyota 86 (1713) and the Hyundai Veloster (1694).

2016 BMW 2 Series pricing*
Coupe
220i (a)$51,300
230i (a)$61,900
M240i (a)$74,900
M2 Pure$89,615
M2 (a)$98,615
Convertible
220i (a)$58,300
230i (a)$71,900
M240i (a)$83,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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