BMW 2-Series (F22)


Debut: 2014
Maker: BMW
Predecessor: 1-Series Coupe (E82)



 Published on 30 Jan 2014
All rights reserved. 


Just like 3-Series coupe/cabriolet becomes 4-Series, the previous 1-Series coupe/cabriolet has evolved to 2-Series. While its underpinnings and much of the interior are shared with the current 1-Series hatchback, its exterior design is differentiated to be sleeker and more stylish in order to command a price premium of about 10 percent. It isn't as stylish as Mercedes CLA or Opel Astra OPC, nor it is as beautiful as the larger 4-Series Coupe, but it looks unmistakably a rear-drive BMW coupe, which is perhaps what people care most.

As before, this is the smallest and cheapest BMW 2-door coupe. Even with the price premium taken into the equation it is still well priced, allowing younger drivers to have their first taste of BMW ownership. In many ways it sounds like the classic 2002 – it is quick and entertaining to drive on the one hand, reasonably practical and affordable on the other hand. Those having a family had better to look to 3-Series, but young singles or couples will find the 2-Series coupe attractive.



The last generation 1-Series Coupe was rather cramped for rear passengers. The new car, like its sister 1-Series F20, is benefited from a 30 mm stretch of wheelbase, giving the rear passengers 21 mm more legroom. This means it is finally tolerable for sub-6-footers. Meanwhile, the front seats are given 19 mm more headroom. Moreover, they are well shaped to offer good support and comfort in typical BMW style, especially on the M-Performance model.

The whole dashboard is taken straight from the 1-Series to save cost. In terms of style or exclusivity this is a little bit disappointing, but given the affordable pricing we can understand. It is intuitive to use though. Switches are large and logically placed. Instruments are clear (no fancy TFT thing but traditional dials here). The driving position is close to perfect. Plastic quality is generally good, if not good enough to challenge Audi. This cabin presents no surprises.



Predictably, the 1-Series-based chassis has no difficulty to achieve 50:50 balance, especially with the longer boot. Its compact size is an inherent advantage to handling, although the all-steel monocoque is not especially lightweight. The aluminum front struts and steel 5-link rear suspensions are tuned to be slightly stiffer than the hatchback's, so its handling can be only better. Also like its sibling, electronic adaptive dampers and variable-ratio electrical power steering are optionally available. On range-topping M235i, it is additionally available with a mechanical limited slip differential, something the drivers of M135i would be jealous of.

Theoretically, the 2-Series can be installed with any engines available to the 3 and 4-Series, but since its sales volume is not as high, the initial offering is limited to 220i (184 hp 2.0-liter Valvetronic DI turbo), 220d (184 hp 2.0-liter turbo diesel) and M235i (326 hp 3.0-liter N55 Valvetronic DI turbo straight-six). A few months later, they will be joined with 228i (245 hp version of the 2-liter turbo petrol), 218d (143 hp version of the diesel four) and the sophisticated 225d, whose 2-liter diesel engine uses 2-stage twin-turbocharging and 2000-bar piezo injection to realize an impressive 218 hp and 332 lbft of torque. All engines can be paired with BMW's 6-speed manual gearbox or ZF's 8-speed automatic. Judging by powertrains alone, it is virtually unbeatable!


Best of the bunch is the M235i, of course. It might not match Mercedes A45 or CLA45 AMG for maximum power, but it is still a very fast car, capable of completing 0-60 mph sprint in 4.8 seconds with manual gearbox or 4.6 seconds with automatic (note: the auto is faster because it allows the use of launch control). That is the territory of E46 M3! Moreover, the marvellous straight-six is silky smooth, willing to rev and responsive to throttle. Its twin-scroll turbo delivers power with virtually no lag. 332 pound-foot of maximum torque is available from as low as 1300 rpm all the way to 4500 rpm. Such a non-stop stream of power gives the M235i really usable performance in any conditions, and the driver can exploit the chassis without any reserve.

As always, BMW's short-throw 6-speed manual is fantastic to shift, whereas the ZF auto is so smooth and responsive that it could be confused with a good twin-clutch gearbox.


The chassis is equally fantastic. The M235i slices into corners flatter and sharper than the M135i, thanks to its stiffer suspension. However, its ride quality is still very good, much more comfortable than the old 135i Coupe and 1-Series M. Drive it slowly, you will be amazed how civilized it feels – the ride is firm yet compliant, the engine is smooth and tractable, and the exhaust note is subdued. Give the throttle more pressure and the car transforms. The motor revs quickly and plays a musical note. The nose turns into corner immediately. The electrical steering is still short of feel, but it does guide the car accurately. The turn-in is noticeably faster than the softly-sprung M135i, with less roll, less understeer to deal with, just feels more like a thoroughbred sports car. With 245/35ZR18 Michelin rubbers at the rear it offers loads of grip, so it takes determined actions to slide the tail. Fortunately, once it slides it can be easily balanced by throttle and steering lock like a proper M-car. It is really fun to drive.

Lesser models get softer suspension setup, smaller brakes and skinnier tires thus they won't be as good to handle as the M235i, but they are still easily more entertaining to drive than anything Audi or Mercedes sell at the same price range. Well, a Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ is even more entertaining, but the duo can't match the small BMW coupe in so many areas, such as accommodation, ride comfort, refinement, build quality, straight line performance… For what it delivers, the 2-Series is great value, especially M235i.
Verdict:  (M235i) / (others)
 Published on 16 Feb 2015 All rights reserved. 
2-Series Cabriolet


These days there aren’t many affordable convertibles offering proper coupe look and 4-seat accommodation. Basically, your choices are limited to Audi A3 Cabriolet and BMW 2-Series Cabriolet. The Audi has a higher quality interior, but the rear-wheel-drive BMW is definitely better to drive, especially if you buy the M235i Cabriolet with 3.0-liter straight-six turbo. Its performance is strong (i.e. 0-60 mph takes less than 5 seconds!), the engine is free-revving and the music it plays is inspiring. The 8-speed ZF automatic it pairs is smoother yet quicker to react than the S Tronic dual-clutch. The chassis is well balanced and noticeably more agile than Audi’s. To keen drivers, the 2-Series Cabriolet is easily the better car.

However, those who have driven the hardtop M235i could be disappointed by the drawbacks of cutting off the roof, i.e. loss of chassis rigidity. The car flexes on bumps and shimmies over irregularities. Distortion to the suspension geometry leads to less incisive handling when you start pushing the car. The 150 kg of extra weight also slows its response. The steering feels more numb, and it vibrates in your hands on poor surfaces. The 2-Series Cabriolet is no more fragile than A3 Cabriolet, but compared to the 4-Series Cabriolet which employs a retractable metal roof or the Mercedes E-class Cabriolet which has more chassis strengthening it feels not that solid. If you place driving thrills at high priority, always stick to the M235i Coupe.

Predictably, to accommodate the roof and chassis reinforcement, rear seat space is reduced compared with the coupe. It is shorter and narrower, fine for children or short adults for emergency use. That said, the same story can be told to its rival A3 Cabriolet. The fabric roof takes 20 seconds to open or close. It insulates the cabin well from the outside world, but when it is opened wind management is not great, with quite a lot of buffeting at speed unless you cover the rear seat with wind deflector. Still, the Cabriolet shares the Coupe’s excellent driving position. The belt line is not as high as Audi’s, thus the cabin feels more airy.


Verdict:
 Published on 3 Mar 2016 All rights reserved. 
BMW M2


The M2 is the most affordable model developed by the M division of BMW. Well, affordable to a certain degree. In the UK, it starts at £44,000, a good 25 percent cheaper than an M4, but 10 percent more than a Mercedes-AMG A45 or Audi RS3. Its performance is comparable to the latter two, but it is wrapped in a classic front-engined rear-wheel-drive package. Indeed, the M2 does not aim at hot hatch crowd (which is served by M135i) because it is a conventional 2-door coupe. Its spiritual ancestors should be 2002 Turbo, the original M3 E30 and the 1-Series M, especially the latter.

You may see the M2 as an M235i upgraded with many parts from the M4. However, it is not exactly an M4 wrapped in a smaller package. Let's take its 3.0-liter straight-six for example. It is modified from the N55 unit of M235i rather than the S55 unit of M3/M4. This means it comes from the standard production line instead of the M division (whose engine codenames always start with the letter S). The biggest difference is that it employs a single (twin-scroll) turbocharger instead of two turbos. It also employs cast-iron cylinder liners like the regular N55 instead of the S55's twin-wire arc spray cylinder coating, although the pistons and crank bearing shells are sourced from its bigger brother. To handle the expected abuse on race tracks, it gets modified (but still wet) sump lubrication system. In this tune, it produces 370 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 343 lbft of torque from 1400-5560 rpm, or 369 lbft from 1450-4750 rpm in a 30-second overboost. In other words, it bridges the gap between M235i and M4. The engine breathes through quad-exhaust pipes and a muffler with switchable flaps.



Without wearing the M4’s carbon-fiber parts, the M2 with manual transmission is only 2 kg lighter than its bigger brother at 1495 kg. The 6-speed manual comes with automatic throttle blip to enable smoother downshifts. Another choice is the M4's M-DCT 7-speed twin-clutch, which adds 25 kg but slashes two-tenths from 0-60 mph, resulting in 4.1 seconds. Top speed is normally regulated at 155 mph but drivers opting for a special package can have it raised to 168 mph (270 km/h).

The suspensions get many components from the M4, too, including aluminum forged control arms and wheel carriers at the front axle. At the rear, the 5-link axle is now made of aluminum instead of steel. Rubber bushings are replaced with rigid ball joints to reduce slack, improve response and communication. The rear subframe is now rigidly mounted to the monocoque chassis, and tower bars are added to reinforce the structure. Sadly, the car does not offer adaptive dampers.

Outside, you can see more pronounced wheel arches are used to cover wider tracks (+64 mm front and +71 mm rear) and tires (245/35 front and 265/35 rear). The Michelin PSS rubbers are shod around 19-inch forged alloy wheels. Likewise, the braking system is upgraded. Front and rear discs measure 380 and 370 mm respectively, and both are dual-cast discs with aluminum hubs.

Last but not least, the smallest M-car still comes with Active M differential which uses multi-plate clutch to alter torque split between rear wheels. In combination with a new M Dynamic mode, it should enable spectacular power slide on tracks.


On the road, the M2 is all the car you need. It is as fast as you can enjoy on public roads. It is compact and agile on the one hand, grippy and unflappable on the other hand. The front-end grip is outstanding. The steering offers more detailed feedback than the helm of M4, giving you full confidence to attack corners. The powerful brakes are dependable. The suspension is a little stiff, but keen drivers should find it perfectly acceptable. The engine is not quite as explosive as the M4, but its more linear power delivery never threatens to overwhelm the chassis. Yes, that right balance is what makes the M2 so lovely!

Outstanding balance is also found in the chassis itself. Committed driving on normal roads should find the M2 steers with a neutral manner that a 4WD super hot hatch can only dream of. Push it on a race track, however, will reveal its rather high limits, where it understeers gently into bend. But then with a proper rear-drive chassis and plenty of torque, you can regain neutrality by planting the throttle. Apply a quick counter lock and the tail starts sliding sideway, progressively and controllably through the arc. Yes, this is a true M-car!

The M2 can lap Nurburgring in 7 min 58 sec, no faster than the best hot hatches, but the mechanical refinement it displays is way beyond hot hatches. The straight-six is creamy smooth and musical, accompanied with a linear power delivery, wide power band and responsive bottom-end that smaller 4-cylinder turbo motors cannot match. The 6-speed manual has sweet gearshifts. M-DCT shifts in a fast and positive manner. It questions the need to buy an M4. The bigger brother might be more beautiful, has a roomier rear seat and more explosive power, but the M2 has to be the most sensible choice when driving thrills, usability and costs are all considered. Another great creation from the M-division.
Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque

Transmission

Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)

0-100 mph (sec)

228i
2014
Front-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel
4432 / 1774 / 1418 mm
2690 mm
Inline-4
1997 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
245 hp
258 lbft

8-speed automatic

F: strut
R: multi-link
-
F: 225/40ZR18
R: 245/35ZR18
1405 kg
155 mph (limited)
5.4 (c) / 4.9*

13.3*

M235i
2014
Front-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel
4432 / 1774 / 1418 mm
2690 mm
Inline-6
2979 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
326 hp / 5800-6000 rpm
332 lbft / 1300-4500 rpm

6-speed manual
(8-speed automatic)
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
F: 225/40ZR18
R: 245/35ZR18
1455 kg (1470 kg)
155 mph (limited)
6M: 4.8 (c) / 4.9*
8A: 4.6 (c) / 4.3* / 4.4** / 4.6***
6M: 11.7*
8A: 10.8* / 11.2** / 10.8***
M2
2016
Front-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel
4468 / 1854 / 1410 mm
2693 mm
Inline-6
2979 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
370 hp / 6500 rpm
343 lbft / 1400-5560 rpm (overboost: 369 lbft)
6-speed manual
(7-speed twin-clutch)
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
F: 245/35ZR19
R: 265/35ZR19
1495 kg (1520 kg)
168 mph (limited)
6M: 4.3 (c) / 4.2*
DCT: 4.1 (c) / 4.0* / 4.4****
6M: 10.0*
DCT: 9.6* / 10.3****




Performance tested by: *C&D, **MT, ***Auto Zeitung, ****Autocar





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires

Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
228i Cabriolet
2015
Front-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel
4432 / 1774 / 1413 mm
2690 mm
Inline-4
1997 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
245 hp
258 lbft
8-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
F: 225/40ZR18
R: 245/35ZR18
1555 kg
155 mph (limited)
5.7 (c) / 5.5*
15.1*
230i
2016
Front-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel
4432 / 1774 / 1418 mm
2690 mm
Inline-4
1998 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
252 hp
258 lbft
8-speed automatic
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
F: 225/40ZR18
R: 245/35ZR18
1425 kg
155 mph (limited)
5.3 (c)
-
M240i
2016
Front-engined, RWD
Steel monocoque
Steel
4432 / 1774 / 1418 mm
2690 mm
Inline-6
2998 cc
DOHC 24 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
340 hp / 5500 rpm
369 lbft / 1520-4500 rpm
6-spd manual (8-spd auto)
F: strut
R: multi-link
-
F: 225/40ZR18
R: 245/35ZR18
1470 kg (1485 kg)
155 mph (limited)
4.6 (c) (4.4 (c) / 4.3*)
(10.3*)




Performance tested by: *C&D




AutoZine Rating

2-Series Coupe


M240i


M2



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