BMW would have you believe that the all-new 2 Series is inspired by the BMW 1600-2 from 1966 or the spectacular BMW 2002 turbo introduced in 1968, but I see a more recent ancestor which coincidentally is exactly the same size – the E36 3 Series coupé.

The new 2 Series Coupé is the same length – 4,432 mm, but wider (1,774 mm vs 1,709 mm) and taller (1,418 mm vs 1,336), it also uses a slightly shorter wheelbase than the E36 (2,690 mm vs 2,700 mm), otherwise, such is the way that cars have grown over the years, it casts a remarkably similar footprint to one of the finest generation of 3 Series coupés.

There will be four models available at launch; the 141bhp 218d, 181bhp 220i, 181bhp 220d and 321bhp M235i, with the 242bhp 228i for US markets and 215bhp 225d arriving later in the year.

Perhaps the most notable observation when looking through its specification is how ‘light’ the 2 Series is compared to BMW’s sporty Z4.

The four-cylinder 220i is 45kg lighter than the smaller Z4 sDrive20i (1,350kg [DIN] vs 1,395kg), while the M235i is 55kg lighter than the Z4 sDrive35is (1,470kg vs 1,525kg).


It’s around 30kg heavier than the 1 Series Hatch on which it’s based, but then the 2 Series is also 11 centimetres longer and nearly a centimetre wider.

Performance should be nigh on identical, however the M235i delivers 6bhp more than the M135i and records a 0 to 62mph time of 4.8 seconds – 0.1 seconds faster than the hatch.

Otherwise for 2 Series Coupé read 1 Series Hatch transformed into a classic 3-box design. There’s no word as yet on an xDrive option, otherwise there’s the same SE, Sport, Modern and M Sport packages available in the 1 Series plus of course that range-topping M235i.

Of course the 2 Series replaces the 1 Series Coupé, introduced in the previous 1 Series generation, but in a larger and heavier body. Length has increased by 72 millimetres, width by 32 millimetres and wheelbase by 30 millimetres, while unladen weight (for the 2-litre petrol powered model) rises from 1,300kg to 1,350kg.


  • BMW-2-Series-coupe_G13
  • BMW-2-Series-coupe_G2

On the left: BMW’s 181bhp 220d Coupé. Right: the range topping 321bhp M235i is a modern-day E36 M3.

Bear in mind though, the outgoing 120i Coupé was powered by a normally aspirated 2-litre engine with 168bhp and 155lb-ft (210Nm) of torque whereas the new 220i delivers 181bhp and 199lb-ft (270Nm) from its TwinPower Turbocharged engine.

Fuel economy and emissions have also improved in the shift between 1 and 2 Series – up from 43.5mpg in the 120i to 46.3mpg (or 49.6 mpg with 8-speed auto) in the 220i and from 152 g/km of CO2 to 148g/km (139g/km with 8-speed auto).

There’s more space in the 2 Series, with a 390-litre boot, up 20 litres over its predecessor, while its also cleaner through the air with a Cd of 0.29.

It’s a thoroughly grown-up package which turns the 1 series platform into a genuinely desirable sports saloon. Think of it as a 1990s 3 Series Coupé brought bang up to date.

The BMW 2 Series makes its debut at the Detroit North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 14th, before going on sale in March 2014.

Prices start at £24,265 for the 218d SE, £25,040 for the 220i SE, £25,865 for the 220d SE and £34,250 for the M235i Coupé.


New BMW 2 Series Coupé (UK Model Range)

Model Power
0 – 62mph Seconds Top Speed mph Combined
CO2 g/km
218d Coupé 141 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) 8.9 (8.6) 132 64.9
114 (111)
220i Coupé 181 199 lb-ft (270 Nm) 7.0 (7.0) 146 (143) 46.3
142 (134)
220d Coupé 181 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) 7.2 (7.1) 143 62.8
119 (111)
225d Coupé 215 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) 6.3 150 60.1 124
M235i Coupé 321 332 lb-ft (450 Nm) 5.0 (4.8) 155* 34.9
189 (176)