More than 55 years ago the compact BMW 1600 arrived with a great chassis and a powerful engine. Then BMW did a two door and called it the 2002. A legendary automobile was born, offering an unequaled driving experience (for the time period) through a combination of a stout engine, terrific chassis, great brakes and a driver-focused cockpit. In 1973 BMW upped the ante a bit more with the 170 hp BMW 2002 Turbo. Then in 2008 BMW brought back the small sporty coupe with the 1 Series and in 2014 launched the 1st-gen 2 Series Coupe.
Now BMW is unveiling its next-generation compact rear-wheel drive sporty coupes, the 2022 BMW 230i and BMW M240i xDrive, ahead of their November launch. BMW says the new goodies include “striking, extroverted styling, more powerful engines, improved chassis and dynamics, greater interior room and the latest in infotainment and connectivity. The new 2 Series Coupe is focused on delivering maximum driving enjoyment, with every component having been optimized for this purpose.”
The 230i Coupe’s revised 2.0-liter 4-cylinder TwinPower turbo produces 255 hp and 295 lb-ft. of torque, up 7 hp and 37 lb-ft over the previous model. BMW says the rear-wheel drive 230i can hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and reaches either a 130 mph or 155 mph top speed, depending on the specification selected. The M240i xDrive Coupe’s 3.0-liter TwinPower turbo straight six delivers 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. of 47 hp and 1 lb-ft more than the previous model. The all-wheel drive M240i runs from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and like the four cylinder tops out at either 130 mph or 155 mph, depending on spec.
An eight-speed Sport Steptronic transmission is standard in both models. BMW says the new trans shifts sharper, quicker and smoother. The transmission’s control unit uses traffic and route topography data from the navigation system and driver assistance systems to avoid unnecessary gear changes through, say, a quick succession of corners. The new coupes also have Launch Control.
The xDrive all wheel drive system is rear-drive biased and sends all the power to the rear wheels when all-wheel drive isn’t needed. The electronically controlled variable locking function in the M Sport rear diff optimizes traction and directional stability, as well as agility and cornering dynamics, the company says.
The 2nd generation 230i Coupe is 4.3-inches longer, 2.6-inches wider, 1.0-inch lower and has a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase than the outgoing car, while the BMW M240i xDrive is 3.5-inches longer, 2.6-inches wider, 0.1-inch lower and has a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase than the M240i xDrive Coupe it replaces. Front and rear tracks are increased 2.8-inches and 1.9-inches respectively on the 230i Coupe and 2.5-inches front and 2.4-inches at the rear for the M240i xDrive. BMW says this will improve cornering and also makes the cars look more aggressive.
Adaptive M suspension is standard on the new M240i xDrive Coupe and includes electronically controlled shocks with continuously adjustable valves at each wheel. The modes go from Comfort to Sport Plus adjusting the steering, damping and accelerator responses along with the transmission’s shift characteristics. Nav data can also be used to proactively prep the car in advance for an upcoming intersection or corner.
The automaker says its new 2 Series Coupes have been designed to look more striking and athletic, with three-dimensional surfaces, triangular forms and diagonal lines meant to bring “visual power” to the front end. A long hood, short overhangs and a set-back cabin are meant to give the new coupes an athletic appearance. “The low front bumper, headlights positioned to the outer edges of the front end and the new, turbine-style BMW kidney grille give the car a wide, low-slung look. The prominently flared fenders and a muscular power dome at the center of the hood give indication of the BMW 2 Series Coupe’s higher dynamic capabilities.”
The new kidney grille has vertical air flaps instead of the old car’s bars. The new air flaps operate electrically and can open in ten stages for increased cooling. A single piece chrome frame surrounds the grille on the 230i Coupe and is cerium grey on the M240i. There are horizontal cooling air flaps lower in the bumper, also electronic, helping cool the brakes, while air curtains in the outer edges of the front bumper guide air over the wheels to reduce turbulence. BMW says the 2002-inspired headlamps each have a single individual circular full-LED headlight while adaptive LEDs are optional with the Premium Package.
The hood and front fenders are aluminum. BMW says pronounced surfaces at the rear “produce an appealing interplay of light and shadow effects which enhances the visual power of the car.
“Like the compact headlights at the front of the car, the contours of the standard darkened rear lights – positioned at the outer extremes of the rear end – embody a more sporting form. Their surfaces are formed by light clusters with three-dimensional sculpting. This provides a unique showcase for the LED technology. The rear light bars illuminate to produce a new, downwardending interpretation of the familiar L shape. They border the pentagonal brake light units at their upper edge and to the side. Horizontal LED light guides below the rear lights serve as turn indicators. A rear bumper insert finished in matt black and with integral reflectors underscores the sporting look,” the company said.
The M240i xDrive Coupe has a more-aggressive bumper design with a black front spoiler and has M-specific exterior mirror caps, exhaust tips and model badges. An M-specific body color trunk lid spoiler and a black diffuser optimize airflow out back.
The company thinks its new interior “represents a clear leap forward from the predecessor model” in terms of the driver-focused layout and the displays and controls and their operation. Gen 7 iDrive has an 8.8-inch digital touch screen with a 5.1-inch instrument display. The optional Live Cockpit Professional upgrades the instrument cluster to a 12.3-inch digital display and increases the standard 8.8-inch center control display to 10.25-inches.
There’s plenty of safety tech including front and rear cameras, Frontal Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear cross-traffic alert and Dynamic Cruise Control. Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go is optional as is a Parking Assistance Package, Active Blind Spot Detection and several other systems.
The 230i starts at $36,350 plus $995 destination while the M240i xDrive starts at $48,550 plus destination. They arrive n the U.S. in November, 2021.
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