- Next-gen 2 Series based on BMW CLAR architecture
- Range-topping M240i xDrive scores 275kW turbo-six motor
- Australia could be receiving 2 Series Coupé with xDrive for the first time
With its latest offering, BMW is ensuring that, unlike other models in its current 2 Series line-up, its next-gen Toyota Supra and Nissan Z competitor will retain many of the characteristics that have made it a household name with driving enthusiasts across the globe.
The new 2 Series will be based on BMW’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR), which underpins the current 3 Series and 4 Series, including the new G80 M3, M4 and Z4, as well as the aforementioned Toyota Supra.
Although BMW has only confirmed its top of the range offering will be the M240i xDrive Coupé, overseas reports speculate it's likely there will be four engines available from launch.
The flagship M variant will pair the herculean B58 twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol motor, capable of churning out 275kW and 500Nm, with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Other engines likely to appear in the new 2 series line-up could be BMW’s B38 turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which might be found in an entry-level 218i or 220i model. The turbo three-pot will likely produce around 110kW and 230Nm, which is in keeping with its current performance figures.
BMW’s B47 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel motor will probably feature in 220d guise too, although it’s doubtful we’ll see this model land Down Under.
You can expect the German marque’s B48 twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-litre in-line-four petrol engine, found in the current iteration of the moniker, to make an appearance as well, most likely in 230i guise. Power will likely be rated around the 185kW mark, and torque should be roughly 350Nm.
Depending on the model, drive will be sent to the rear wheels or all four wheels through an upgraded version of ZF’s familiar eight-speed automatic transmission.
However, whether Australia will be receiving any of the xDrive AWD models is up for debate, as the current-gen F22 2 Series has been offered with xDrive in America and Europe since 2013, but we never got it.
But considering xDrive is becoming more prevalent in our local market with other models such as the M340i xDrive and M850i xDrive, it is possible we could receive both RWD and AWD versions, similar to the way we’re getting both a two-paw and all-paw M3 and M4 Competition.
A six-speed manual transmission has been rumoured for certain markets too, and will definitely feature in the next-gen M2, but whether or not Australia will score the stick-shift is still unknown. Other international markets such as the UK have already been told they won’t be getting it.
The M240i and M240i xDrive will also be fitted with an M-Sport electronically operated limited-slip differential, which should up the dynamic ante and aid traction.
The combination of the CLAR platform, an all-new bodyshell, and the adoption of things like dynamic driving struts for the rear axle means the new coupe will also be 12 per cent stiffer than the car it replaces.
According to reports, the coupe’s track widths have grown dramatically as well, with the front axle witnessing a 52mm jump and the rear scoring a 31mm increase.
Both a fixed rate and adaptive suspension set-up will be available, with the suspension geometry featuring more camber at the front axle to help the two-door coupe turn in more aggressively.
BMW claims it has accomplished a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution too, thanks to the eight-speed ZF torque-converter automatic transmission being mounted on the rear axle.
Visually, we’ve already got a pretty good idea of what the new 2 Series’s exterior will look like, given the images of the M240i leaked last month.
Perhaps the most noticeable thing about its fairly ubiquitous styling is that it doesn’t appear to have the gigantic front grille of the new M3 and M4, which will be a relief to many.
Inside, the new 2 Series is expected to feature a 12.3-inch digital dash and 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, although it’s not yet known whether the two-door coupe will be fitted with BMW’s next-gen iDrive 8 infotainment system.
BMW says the new 2021 2 Series Coupé will go into production at the end of August, with an international unveiling rumoured to be taking place on July 14. A local launch is expected at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022.
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