Say hello to the all-new BMW 2-Series, and this time, we're happy to inform you that it's all official - no, seriously it is. For all intents and purposes, BMW's new compact two-door model is a 1-Series Coupe replacement in everything aside from the name, as well as a spiritual successor to the classic 02 series, something BMW is all too keen to point out.
The new model comes with a more streamlined design (especially up front where, fortunately, it didn't use the 1-Series hatchback's Japanese anime-style headlights) and better proportions on the outside, and a refreshed and more modern interior with all the latest gadgetry inside.
It's also larger than its predecessor, with its length increased by 2.8 inches (72 mm) to 174.5 inches (4,432 mm), width by 1.3 inches (32 mm) to 69.8 inches (1,774 mm), wheelbase by 1.3 inches (30 mm) to 105.9 inches (2,690 mm), front track width by 1.6 inches (41 mm) to 59.9 inches (1,521 mm) and rear track width by 1.7 inches (43 mm) to 61.3 inches (1,556 mm).
According to BMW's data, the 2-Series has 0.7 inches (19 mm) of extra front headroom and 0.8 inches (21 mm) of additional rear legroom, compared to the 1-Series Coupe. Furthermore, trunk capacity has been boosted by 0.7 cu.ft. (20 liters) to 13.8 cu.ft. (390 liters).
We'll begin our powertrain tour of the 2-Series with the North American model, which will make its world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show next January and go on sale in the United States in spring with two available gasoline engines. These include the 228i with a 240hp 2.0-liter turbo four priced from $33,025, and the M235i featuring a 322hp 3.0-liter turbo'd inline-six starting at $44,025. All prices include a $925 destination and handling fee.
That's not bad considering that the current 230hp 128i Coupe starts at $32,425 and the 320hp 135is Coupe at $44,475.
With the 8-speed automatic driving the rear wheels, the 240hp and 258 lb-ft 228i Coupe goes from zero to 60mph (96km/h) in 5.4 seconds and tops out at a limited 130mph (210km/h) in standard trim, and 155mph (250km/h) in Sport Line and M Sport grades. On average, the 228i returns EPA estimates of 23mpg city, 35mpg highway and 27mpg combined for the 8-speed sport automatic, and 22mpg city, 34mpg highway and 26mpg combined for the 6-speed manual.
The sportier 322hp and 332 lb-ft M235i completes the standard sprint to 60mph (96km/h) in 4.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155mph (250km/h). It returns a fuel economy of 22mpg city, 32mpg highway and 25mpg combined with the 8-speed automatic transmission, and 19mpg city, 28mpg highway and 22mpg combined with the available 6-speed manual gearbox.
On both models, the automatic is standard with the manual offered as a no cost option. Aside from the standard edition, the 228i is offered with two special trim grades, the Sport Line and M Sport. The former adds 18-inch wheels, special interior trim and upholstery, and high-gloss black finish for exterior trim, while the M Sport brings a host of goods ranging from the 10mm lowered suspension and 18-inch lightweight wheels, to bespoke front and rear bumpers, and sport trims and seats.
The European market version of the 2-Series will begin its career with three separate models, starting with the 220i fitted with a 2.0-liter turbo'd four rated at 181hp (184PS) and 270Nm that does 0-100km/h (62mph) in 7.0 seconds and returns a combined fuel consumption of 6.3l/100km (37.3mpg US or 44.8mpg UK) with the standard 6sp manual gearbox.
Next up is the 220d powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four diesel producing 181hp (184PS – same as the petrol model) and 380Nm. With a six-speed manual, it completes the standardized sprint in 7.2 seconds and delivers a combined fuel consumption of 4.5l/100km (52.3mpg US or 62.8mpg UK).
At the top of the line is the M235i donning a 322hp (326PS) and 450Nm 3.0L turbo'd straight six, with the manual gearbox version returning a 5.0 second run for the 0-100km/h sprint (8sp auto: 4.8 seconds). Combined fuel consumption is 8.1l/100km (29mpg US or 34.9mpg UK).
A wider range of engines (at least in Europe and in markets outside North America) and possibly all-wheel drive, are expected to be added within the next year.