Had the new M235i over the weekend. Quick thoughts below.
The design is, in my opinion, much improved over the outgoing 1 series. Lines are taut and crisp, with a good mix of aggressive elements in the front to differentiate the M235i model from the base 228i. Interior is pretty standard current generation BMW-fare. The new iDrive with touchpad on top to write out addresses works pretty well, as does the voice recognition for inputting addresses.
Chassis has the BMW classic firmness, without harshness. Steering was well weighted, at least in the Sport and Sport + modes. Can cruise on the interstates in comfort mode, although I would prefer the Sport Mode and then use the manual shifting to push it up to 8th gear. Sticks like glue in the canyon twisties, can be partially attributed to the nice sticky Michelins, and seemed near unflappable. Steering wheel itself is phenomenal to the touch, not the super fat rims that the old Z4M's had, but still a good grip and soft leathers, nicely padded (stark contrast to the rockhard steering wheel in the Mitsubishi Evo I drove recently.) Seats are comfortable with the power adjustable bolsters, and the extendable thigh support. Not sure if anyone would be able to fit in the backseat (I'm ~6 feet tall), but I suppose for quick trips a compromise could be made for both driver and rear passenger. Trunk is quite usable and has the added versatility of the 60/40 fold flat rear seats. But even the trunk alone has good volume and shape. The Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S could use a trunk of this level to be a little more user friendly.
Power from the TwinPower turbo is both effortless and ferocious. So very very smooth. The particular car I had was equipped with the 8 speed automatic, which was VERY quick with both upshifts and rev-matched downshifts in manual mode. Would rival many of the dual clutch manuals on the market today.
As other reviews have noted, the lack of an engine temp gauge is a bit disconcerting. I know it rarely moves in cars from its "normal operating" position, but I would still like to see it. I'm sure there is some sort of idiot light function in the multi-information display, but still.
A pricey beast at ~$50,000, but still very tempting for those that have the funds. A bit more sport focused than the current 4 series, which seems to have moved up to more of a GT-type driving experience.
Kelleners Sport Prepares Us for BMW 2-Series Upgrades with Alloy Wheel Preview
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The 2-Series, the good one with two-doors and rear-wheel drive and not the other one with the tall hat shape and FWD wearing the Active Tourer badge, has been a welcome addition to BMW's range of sports coupes, and no doubt, it will attract the attention of many tuning firms worldwide.
In this instance, we have news from German aftermarket firm Kelleners Sports that shared photos (or are those photochops?) of a pair of 2-Series Coupes wearing its 19-inch Hamburg alloy wheels that are offered in three different finishes - Platinum Silver Polished, Graphite Silver Polished and Matt Black. Pricing for these rims starts at around 400 euros a pop in Germany with tax/VAT.
Kelleners says "further products like power increases, sport exhausts, suspension solutions, upholstery and sport steering wheels are in preparation and will be available soon", for BMW's entry-level coupe series.
If you want a BMW 2-Series, the engine you go for will dictate the character of the car, which you can then further refine by fitting it with one of the available styling packs. There’s definitely plenty of choice in its range, and plenty of available diversity (at least in Europe), but which model will be the most popular?
CarBuyer recently tested the 220d model, arguably the best all-round proposition for the Euro driver (not available in North America) with a preference for torque over zingy top end power.
It uses little fuel, it doesn't emit that much CO2 (125 g/Km as tested in the video) but can still hurl itself past 62 mph or 100 km/h in just over 7 seconds – that’s almost hot hatch pace, or nearly on par with a Toyota GT86.
Negatives discovered in the review are the gruff engine note under hard right foot flex and the notably higher price than that of the regular 1-Series on which it’s based. However, the latter is still seen as reasonable, in the sporty coupe company of the VW Scirocco and Audi’s (new) TT.
Rumor has it that a fully-fledged M variant of the 2-Series coupe, an M2, could hit the global market in 2016. In theory, the recipe is simple: take the already sporty and sharp M235i, make it lighter, wider and more focused, then bestow it with the same or similar engine as the one under the bonnet of the M3/M4 duo, albeit in a detuned guise (with between 360 – 400 hp).
Look-wise, this rather nice rendering by BMW Blog is good enough for more than just a preliminary impression – if we’d seen this “leak” just ahead of an official launch date, the web would have been full of posts debating whether or not it showed the real thing.
It takes strong inspiration from the unique 1M coupe, the image of which is juxtaposed over the shape of the 2-Series – it’s even given an orange lick of paint to make the reference to the old model even clearer.
The only way this would be negated is if BMW all of a sudden decides to style its M cars differently, and that seems very unlikely to happen until 2016, so as far as we’re concerned, it looks spot on.