2014 BMW 2 Series
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Early Spring 2014
Expected Pricing: $33,025 to $43,100
An all-new BMW 2 Series replaces the defunct 1 Series coupe this spring. Revealed ahead of the January 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 2 Series brings the new coupes in line with the rest of BMW's new nomenclature of odd numbers for sedans, even numbers for coupes.
The BMW 2 Series is roomier than the outgoing 1 Series, which isn't surprising to anyone who's been following the industry. Cars today are much like women's dresses: Today's size 0 is like yesterday's size 6. Compared with the 1 Series, the 2 is 2.8 inches longer, with a wheelbase that's stretched 1.3 inches.
The 2014 BMW 2 Series will come in two variants (though it may be expanded with additional driveline options for 2015):
The BMW 228i will be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that makes 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. Base MSRP is expected to be $32,100 plus $925 destination charge.
The BMW M235i (yes, the name is a mouthful) will come with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 makes a hearty 320 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. The M235i rides on an adaptive M sport suspension and comes with big brakes and Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires. An M Performance mechanical limited slip differential will be available as an option. M235i is expected to retail for $43,100 plus destination.
Unlike some entry-level luxury cars (we're looking at you, Audi and Mercedes-Benz), the 2 Series keeps BMW's nimble rear-wheel-drive platform and near 50-50 weight distribution, making this perhaps the most tossable small luxury coupe on the market yet. However, the BMW 2 Series also has a starting price of a few thousand dollars more. For now, competition is slim among entry-level luxury coupes, but Cadillac will be hot on BMW's heels with the forthcoming ATS Coupe.
Although the BMW 2 Series bears some resemblance to the previous 1 Series coupe, the coupe is fully redesigned. Up front, the signature twin kidney grille is surrounded by wraparound headlamps and a wide lower air intake that makes it look more assertive than cute.
From the side, the BMW 2 Series loses the 1 Series' saggy lower line created by its droopy rocker panels. Instead, the 2 Series gets a virtual sheet metal tummy tuck, with a sharp, straight rocker panel and an upward-curving character line that flows into the rear wheel arches. An upper line running from the front fender, through the door handles and into the rear decklid is straight and sharp.
The rear is clean and simple, with just the tiniest hint of shelfy-ness that seems to be fading out with the post-Bangle era. Wraparound tail lamps and hood cut lines are very straight and horizontal. We're also happy to see that the M235i places its dual exhaust pipes one on each side, giving it a more symmetrical look, a departure from the single-sided dual pipes used on other models.
Starting prices for the BMW 2 Series will be $33,025 for the 228i and $44,025 for the M235i, including a $925 destination and handling fee. Expect to see BMW 2 Series models in dealerships in the spring of 2014.