BMW 2 Series
Before I get into reviewing the 2 series, a look back into history. A few of my regular readers who follow my articles about cars might have already read the in-depth review I gave about the BMW E46 3 Series, and how many enthusiasts including myself hail the 2 door E46 3 series to be one of the most iconic modern BMW's to ever drive out of their factory in Regensberg.
Thanks to the E46 coupe's low slung aggressive stance, compact and yet sporty body-kits and the angry-looking M3, automotive journalists across the world hailed it as one of the best looking performance coupes. Since 2007, the successor to the E46 coupes were the E92/93 3 series coupe and cabrios and the recently launched BMW 4 Series - Both of them looking considerably a lot fatter and bulkier and losing their very nimble looks.
While BMW did attempt to re capture the E46 coupe's magic by launching the coupe and cabriolet versions of the 1 Series, the car somehow didn't really capture that raw passion which the E46 served, until now.....
The 2-Series coupe, aptly called so in line with BMW's policy on naming their coupes and cabriolets with an even number can essentially be considered a newer version of the outgoing 1-series coupe however, that's where all comparisons really stop.
This car is bigger and lower and in terms of sheer proportions alone, it can easily be considered as a E46-coupe lookalike for the 2010's.
It is also for the first time, BMW will offer a proper 'M' version of this car for the budget conscious buyer (who's unable to afford the likes of an M3) thereby making this car one of the the performance coupe bargains of the decade.
So let's see, what's what...
Models and Packages
What's probably most appealing about the BMW 2 Series (apart from its looks of course), is that in the past during the glory days of the E46, BMW unnecessarily complicated things by offering far too many options on their engine lineups.
In the case of the 2-Series though, things seem to be fairly simple - You get the option of a 2 Liter diesel engine and a petrol engine which churns out an identical 135 KW of power. Both these models can be spruced up a bit by either BMW's 'Sport Line' (which as far as I can tell offers some black glossy-touches to the exterior) or the 'Modern Line' (which replaces the gloss with a more aluminium/silver finish).
However, should you have deeper pockets and want to be seen driving in a proper BMW-M Car (instead of driving one with only an 'M Sport' kit), be prepared to be enthralled by the M235i, which comes mated to the very classic and rather erotic combination of a straight-6 3 liter engine without the nonsense of little turbos attached to it - i.e. pure and raw unadulterated driving pleasure that one got from the BMW 1M and the E46 M3.
Developing nearly 240 KW of power, the M235i can launch itself to 100 Kph (62 Mph) in 4.8 seconds and comes equipped with some very fancy technological gizmos (including state of art remote-telematics and assistance features compatible with your smartphone) and to further add this car's charisma and match it with the E46 M3, the car's also available with 19 inch alloys and the very beautiful 'Estroil Blue' (which in my opinion is the best blue since the days of the Laguna Seca Blue).
Australian prices for the M235i start at roughly $90,000 AUD (with a fully kitted out version likely to be within the $100-$110k mark) although American and European prices are reportedly significantly lower - Neverthless, this car's a steal for anyone who doesn't have the cash to buy a yet to be released F80/82 M3/M4 and still wants all the thrills of a BMW M-Car.
As a BMW owner/enthusiast myself, I cannot wait to eventually be able to get my hands on an M235i, effectively making it one of my first proper BMW M-series purchase (my current 325Ci E46 comes fully optioned with the M-Sport kit but then it really isn't the same thing is it?)
With dimensions of the F22 2 series being virtually identical as that of the E46 coupes and the performance being more or less identical to the iconic M3 of the 2000's, this car's proof that BMW's finally listened to its loyal fan base and brought in the F22 to recapture the magic the E46 coupes offered to its owners during the 2000s, offering 2010's era technology.