The new BMW 2 Series Coupe has been unveiled in full and the good news is that the two-door car retains a rear-drive chassis. That separates it from the BMW 1 Series line-up (and indeed the 2 Series Gran Coupe), meaning the new 2 Series Coupe should have more in common with the excellent 3 Series and 4 Series. BMW has confirmed that diesel, petrol and M Performance models will be offered from the start and Irish market sales are expected to begin in early 2022.
Cab-back styling for the coupe
While the new 2 Series Coupe might have plenty in common with the 4 Series underneath, we're glad to report that the controversial upright kidney grille design has not been carried over. In fact, the 2 Series gets a remarkably fresh new design all round, with a notably cab-back side profile.
The wide, low take on the kidney grille up front has a single surround, the colour of which varies depending on model and options - it is chrome by default, Cerium Grey on the M240i and High-gloss Black when 'M High-gloss Shadow Line with extended features' is specified.
Look closer at the pictures in the photo gallery and you'll see what appear to be unusually styled vertical bars within the grille. These are in fact variable air flaps that open and close through 10 different stages depending on the cooling needs of the engine. The horizontal flaps in the apron underneath are also automatically opened and closed.
The purple (or 'Thundernight' as BMW likes to call the new paint colour) 2 Series Coupe in our pictures is the M240i, which gets larger triangular 'Air Curtains' on the outer edges of a sportier front bumper, 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, an extra boot lip spoiler, unique Cerium Grey door mirrors, trapezoidal exhaust outlets and High-gloss Black for the side sills and rear bumper inlay.
Other petrol models, such as the white 220i pictured here, feature two round exhaust outlets in a matt black inlay, along with body-coloured side sills.
There are LED lights front and rear as standard, too, of a new design. The positioning of the rear lamps looks a little strange to us, though it does serve to emphasise the muscular wheelarch sculpting. The side profile of the car is tautened up by a character line running from the front lights to the back and there are new flush-fitting door handles, too.
Usual BMW interior
Increased exterior dimensions mean more space inside the 2 Series Coupe than before, though it's still a four-seat car. The boot capacity has increased 20 litres to 390 litres and a split-rear seat back is standard equipment.
Up front, there's little to tell the cabin of the 2 Series Coupe apart from that of the 4 Series, which means it has taken a significant step forward from its forerunner. Sports seats and steering wheel are standard, while the dashboard features digital instruments and a touchscreen to the side.
Three-zone climate control and an acoustically glazed windscreen are also standard, while the optional ambient lighting gives parts of the cabin a unique appearance.
Designed to be driven
In terms of size, the new 2 Series Coupe is 105mm longer than its predecessor, 51mm of that increase in the wheelbase. It's also 64mm wider, with increased track widths front and rear, though the new car is 28mm lower. This all bodes well for both driving dynamics and comfort.
Unsurprisingly, the 2 Series Coupe chassis borrows heavily from the 3 Series and 4 Series. For example, the new car features 'lift-related' dampers that mechanically alter the damping depending on suspension travel.
The M Sport suspension uses a firmer take on that design, along with stiffer springs. It's also bundled with variable-ratio power steering. This is the standard setup for the M240i. Optional Adaptive M suspension adds electronically controlled and adjusted dampers - again fitted in conjunction with the variable-ratio steering system.
M Sport brakes are standard on the M240i, bringing in an upgrade to four-piston fixed brake callipers at the front and single-piston floating callipers at the rear. They're available across the line-up, with blue or red callipers.
Another component that's part of the M240i package is the M Sport rear differential, an electronically regulated item that allows fully variable locking to alter the power split between the back wheels. The M240i is the only version of the new 2 Series Coupe listed so far to come with xDrive all-wheel drive. BMW claims that it's a rear-biased setup, while all other versions of the car use rear-wheel drive.
Petrol and diesel engines
Powering that range-topping M240i xDrive model is a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six. It peaks at 374hp, while 500Nm of torque is on tap from 1,900rpm all the way up to 5,000rpm. BMW quotes a 0-100km/h time of just 4.3 seconds, while its CO2 emissions rating, from 185g/km, isn't bad considering the performance on tap.
For those that want the style and rear-drive chassis of the 2 Series Coupe, but need to cover a lot of mileage, there's the 220d model. It's powered by the familiar twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel unit, now augmented by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. Its maximum outputs are 190hp and 400Nm of torque and it does 0-100km/h in a still-impressive 6.9 seconds. Its emissions and fuel consumption are as low as 122g/km and 4.7 litres/100km, respectively.
Meanwhile, the 220i Coupe is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, making 184hp and 300Nm of torque. It covers 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds and emits as little as 144g/km. Later in 2022, BMW will launch the 230i Coupe, using a more powerful version of this powerplant, putting out 245hp and 400Nm. It will be optionally available with the M Sport differential.
All versions of the 2 Series Coupe come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox called Steptronic Sport. It features gearchange paddles behind the steering wheel, launch control and a 'Sprint' function for maximum acceleration.
Irish pricing and market info
Pricing for the new 2 Series Coupe will start at €48,515 for the 220i. That is a noticeable increase compared with its predecessor but it is worth noting that M Sport now becomes the standard specification.
All versions will come equipped with cruise control with brake function, lane departure warning, speed limit recognition and front collision warning.
The diesel 220d will be priced from €49,675. The range-topping M240i xDrive will have a starting price of €70,485 and in addition to the exterior styling changes will come with 19-inch M alloy wheels as standard with the option of high performance tyres. As with other cars in the range, buyers of the new 2 Series Coupe will have the option to upgrade to the M Sport package Pro. This adds M Sport brakes, 19-inch alloy wheels, M High-gloss Shadow Line with extended features, M lights Shadow Line (darkened surrounds for the headlights), a black front spoiler lip and a black M rear spoiler.