Bmw – bavarian best-of album

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Bavarian best-of album

With the upcoming 2 Series Coupe, BMW is paying homage to its own tradition.

Despite the camouflage, the front with a "two-eyed face" and radiator grille in a classic kidney optic can be guessed at.

It is difficult to estimate how long it will be possible, allowed and willing to continue to build cars with pure combustion engines.

In any case, vehicles with electrified drives are on the rise and are gradually replacing classic petrol and diesel engines. As long as such engines are still feasible and in demand, BMW will continue to offer them. Especially in the sporty models, such as the 2-seater coupe, which will hit the streets in spring 2022. Here, BMW deliberately relies on pure petrol engines; not even though it's more difficult now, but precisely because of it. Before it is no longer possible, one would like to pay homage to the self-imposed credo of "driving pleasure" again in petrol-powered form. The two-door car seems like a "best-of album" made up of components and stylistic devices that have made the sporty BMW models popular with customers and fans over the past few decades. This is also revealed behind closed doors by a first look under the still lavish camouflage. As a reminiscence of the 2002 from 1968, the coupe has a front with two headlight eyes instead of the four daytime running lights found on almost all BMW models today. A striking hump stands out on the hood – a reference to the powerful M3.

BMW - Bavarian best-of album-bavarian

Long hood, short tail: The upcoming 2 Series from BMW.

The proportions are particularly striking: a long hood and a short rear end with powerful wheel arches. An important indication of what is used under the sheet metal. Because in contrast to the four-door 2-series GranCoupe, where transversely installed engines and front or all-wheel drive are installed, the two-door still comes according to the classic BMW model: longitudinally installed in-line engines and rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive is available on request. To do this, the developers had to accept that the brand's smallest coupe would be larger: around five centimeters more track width and wheelbase also ensure correspondingly larger dimensions. This is mainly due to the fact that the platform from the larger 3-series is used here. This was the only way to build the coupe as a rear-wheel drive. It is pleasing that the new 2 Series is not noticeably heavier than its predecessor, despite its larger dimensions; it remains at around 1500 kg in the two-wheel drive, four-cylinder variant – one of the two versions available for the first test drive as a prototype still in disguise. However, apart from a few subtleties in the adjustment, the technology already corresponds to the standard version. The 2-liter engine delivers 245 hp and, thanks to the 8-speed automatic, accelerates the coupe to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds. Absolutely sufficient for a compact sports coupe – especially since its true talent is not to be found on the straights, but in the curves. The steering does not yet offer razor-sharp feedback from the road, but it works very directly and, above all, precisely, which is mainly due to the exceptionally good balance. The coupe distributes its weight almost perfectly evenly over the two axles, making it appear very light-footed. In addition, the standard chassis with non-adjustable dampers appears balanced; it keeps body roll within tight limits in curves and has enough leeway to maintain contact with the road even on rough bumps. The compact Bavarian is particularly pleasing because he does not use electronic tricks or complex technical gimmicks to simulate his driving dynamics, but achieves it from good systems. As the icing on the cake, BMW serves an optionally electronically controlled locking differential for the rear axle. It distributes the power between the two wheels as required and allows the car to drive with even more rear-biased driving – right down to playfully controllable drifts on the closed-off test site.

The provisional top model will be the M240i, which is also available with all-wheel drive on request. The additional drive on the front axle and the 3-litre six-cylinder engine add more than 100 kg to the weight of the car – but it also has a much more robust sound, more power and traction. With 374 hp, the sprint to 100 km/h takes 4.5 seconds. Due to the weight and the all-wheel drive, the six-cylinder is noticeably more solid on the road and can also be better adapted to the ground thanks to the adjustable chassis dampers. Above all, the M240i offers the unique allure of a big engine in a compact car. But that doesn't mean that the M240i is only fun on a straight line. The four-wheel drive is extremely rear-heavy in sport mode; an electronically controlled lock also ensures perfect power distribution. The all-wheel drive feels almost like a rear-wheel drive car on the test track – only with more traction and stability.

BMW - Bavarian best-of album-best-of

The coupe will be on the road in spring 2022.

With the compact coupe, BMW is not daring any polarizing experiments, but is building a car that fans of the sporty coupes from Munich would wish for themselves. And probably also a car like there won't be many anymore. Electrification will soon also be used in the sporty M models from BMW. It would probably be premature to describe the upcoming 2 Series as a farewell to the pure combustion engine. But it is definitely a "best-ofalbum" from BMW's coupe history – and these are not released at the beginning of a great career. A price of probably just under 40,000 francs (M240i×Drive approx. 60,000 francs) is quite fair.

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