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2014 BMW 2 Series Debut

BMW's sports coupe works aren't slowing down

2014 BMW 2-Series Research Click to hide

What's New

BMW is building a front-wheel-drive car! The world is ending! Hear, thee, the end is nigh!

When BMW introduced its Active Tourer concept some months back, it was thought that the heresy that is a front-wheel-drive BMW would soon plague the whole bottom end of BMW's lineup. Of course, the 1 Series would be swapped out for something less sporty, basically a Mini Cooper with different styling it would appear.

But a few months later, BMW has revealed its 2 Series sports coupe, which replaces the outgoing 1 Series in the U.S., and it's all looking good. This car is rear-wheel drive with all of the BMW goodness left intact that one might expect. Much of the 3 Series' features have trickled down to the 2 Series, but the smallest BMW has some party tricks of its own to keep things entertaining.

Who It's For

There are two different kinds of people who buy BMWs: People who like the idea of what a BMW ought to be—sporty, prestigious, and upscale—and those who buy BMWs because of the driving experience. The badge and snob appeal are just side benefits.

Most BMWs are designed for the former anymore, but BMW has found that not everyone in the latter camp needs or wants an M car. That's why the 2 Series exists. Expected to target a younger, likely more masculine crowd of gearheads, the 2014 BMW 2 Series will come in 228i and M235i flavors to satisfy the enlightened.

Key Features

The 2014 BMW 2 Series coupes feature:
  • a 240-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6.
  • A six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • An optionally available electronically adjustable suspension in the 228i; standard in the M235i.
  • Six-piston brake calipers in the M235i.
  • An available rear limited-slip differential in the M235i for better at-limit stability.

What We Think

Starting at $33,025 for the 228i and $44,025 for the M235i, both cars should be lightweight machines of driving precision and fun. And they give us faith that BMW still has its head in the game for driving enthusiasts—the people who made BMW what it is with their fanaticism.

Were these cars supposed to exist when lighter, front-drive cars like the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA are infiltrating the same market space? We're not sure. And we're not sure how popular the 2 Series will be, as it will initially come only in coupe body styles. A convertible will follow, and a sedan is anticipated. But given our expectations, we think BMW will knock this one out of the park. We're driving it soon, so we'll let you know just how good it is when we have that chance.

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