One of 200 homologation specials is to go under the hammer, and it’s all sorts of 1980s brilliant
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The BMW 2-Series is here
This is the BMW 2-Series, or the Car Formerly Known As The 1-Series Coupe.
Yes, it’s the two-door version of the latest 1-Series. In line with BMW’s new policy of employing odd numbers on its four- and five-door saloons, hatches and estates, and even numbers for its two-door coupes and cabrios, the One has become Two.
But this is more than a rebranding exercise. The 2-Series is an all-new coupe underpinned by the second-gen 1-Series. Which means, of course, it’s rear-wheel drive, and armed with a selection of BMW’s juiciest powerplants. From launch, your meatiest engine choice will be the M235i, which, with a 3.0-litre, 326bhp twin-turbo six, will crack 0–60mph in under five seconds.
At some point down the line we’ll see an M2 (or perhaps 2M?) which, if it retains even half the sparkle of its predecessor, 2011’s sublime 1M, will be a mighty thing. Until then, we suspect the M235i shall keep us content.
There are soberer engine options. The 2-Series will launch with the choice of three 2.0-litre diesels, topped by the 218bhp 225d – 332lb ft of torque, anyone? – and, er, bottomed by the stingy 218d, which returns an official 67mpg and as little as 111g/km of CO2.
The current 1-Series hatch is a fine drive, but the 2 should be even better. It sits 5mm lower on its springs, has a chassis tuned for added schnell, and is slippier than the five-door, with a drag coefficient of just 0.29Cd.
It should be passably practical, too. The 2-Series is 7cm longer and 2cm wider than the last 1-Series coupe, with BMW promising significantly more leg- and headroom too. Of course, you’ll get more space – and more doors – in a Mercedes CLA, but that would involve owning a Mercedes CLA.
Prices start at £25,040, rising to £34,250 for the M235i. The Porsche Cayman starts at £39k, though if you want to match the M235i for power you’ll need the Cayman S, which costs nine grand more. Discuss.