The BMW 2 Series Coupe has been praised by many as the most authentic modern BMW thanks to its compact size, reasonable curb weight, available manual transmission, and handsome but understated looks. Sadly, one of those ingredients, possibly three, is gone for 2022.
I think the new 2 Series looks good, but I’m not going to shove that opinion down your throats. Because you know what, I totally get where my brother Ian and my coworker Adam are coming from; they’re currently gathering some moist towels to clean the vomit off their keyboards.
My keyboard remains dry because I like weird. I like the fact that these taillights have aggressive, angular divisions between the reverse lamp and taillamp. I like the hourglass license plate-recess stamping in the trunk. I dig how busy that plastic bumper cover looks, with all of its shapes and its huge exhaust openings.
Even in 220i form (BMW offers this trim in Europe; the U.S. only gets 230i and M240i) with its simpler bumper cover, the 2 Series rear looks good. The sharp shapes in the light housing, and the nice, strong divisions between the large white reverse lamp and the red taillight section — it’s odd, sure. But in a good way. I reached out to my colleague and taillight extraordinaire Jason Torchinsky to get his take:
The taillights are interesting in that they’re extremely graphical; there’s a very clear visual linear motif in the lights—that vaguely high-tech Shepard’s crook shape—that sort of echos other linear patterns in the car.
The red visual signature is almost set atop the rest of the taillight unit, which is fairly muted, all dark smoked plastic lenses, largely denuded of color, at least when off.
These are taillights that are more concerned with visual identity and style than outright function, which is okay; they can still execute their job. They do feel a bit tacked-on and I’m not sure they’ll age well, but I like to see this sort of risk taking in taillights.
It seems to me like the new 240i is living its best life, leaning into its eccentricities, while the outgoing car was just trying to glide under the radar:
The 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe’s face is just as wild as its hindquarters. The headlights narrow towards the grille in sharp steps, rather than with a gradual, curved taper. On the M240i, the grille openings are wide and the lower outboard triangular openings are gargantuan. It’s wild but fun, especially when you add in the purple paint:
But lower trims in a less flashy color? Well, BMW included in its press release photos of a white 220i and...let’s just say I’m off to grab some moist towels:
Something about that wide lower-opening smiley face, all that white space between it and the outboard openings, and all the white space between the bottom of the upper grille and the headlights — something seems a little off.
For reference, here’s the outgoing 240i’s rather conservative face. It’s handsome:
The good news is that, whether in 220i or 240i trim, and whether in white or purple, the new 2 Series’ side profile looks awesome:
The old 2 Series didn’t look bad from the side, either, but there was always something about that rear glass and rear deck-lid area that seemed a bit out of whack to me — like maybe the greenhouse was a bit too tall and the trunk wasn’t quite long enough:
Some of those improved proportions come at a price, though. The second-generation BMW M240i xDdrive is 3.5-inches longer and 2.6-inches wider than its predecessor, though it is a tenth of an inch lower. The track-widths are up roughly 2.5 inches front and rear.
As for the hardware, the powertrains are fairly predictable: You get either a 2.0-liter turbo inline four or a 3.0-liter turbo inline six. The former makes 255 horsepower, while the six makes 382. Both motors are bolted to eight-speed automatics, which spend power to a rear differential or to both a front and rear differential via a transfer case.
Yes, the outgoing car offered a six-speed, a feature that my former colleague Andrew Collins said made the base car a future classic. I agree with him. BMW has made no mention of a manual on the new model, though BMW Blog suspects that, at the very least, the upcoming M2 will receive a stick.
I won’t talk too much about the interior, because it looks like any other BMW interior. BMW may have weirded-up its 2 Series on the outside, but it did nothing of the sort on the inside:
The new 2 Series hits showrooms in November, with a $37,345 base price for the 230i Coupe and a $49,545 base price for the M240i xDrive Coupe. An all-wheel drive 230i and a rear-drive M240i will come later, BMW says.