BMW Launches Its Last Old-School Driver’s Car, but With a Big Catch

The ultimate driving machine will be doing a fair bit of the driving itself.

bmw 2 series
daniel kraus

The BMW 2 Series — descended from the iconic 2002 model — has been the enthusiasts' BMW offering of late, perhaps the purest "ultimate driving machine" experience at BMW's most affordable price point. The 2 Series Coupe returns as an all-new model for 2022, and with markedly more power on offer. It may even be the last of the old-school gas-powered BMWs before the lineup electrifies.

But it will not have one key element of that old-school experience, however. BMW is cutting the six-speed manual from the 2 Series for 2022.

BMW will begin by offering two versions of the 2 Series here in the United States. The base 230i will be rear-wheel drive and get a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four putting out 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The M240i xDrive will get a rear-biased all-wheel-drive system and a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The 230i xDrive and RWD M240i will arrive later. (If those outputs sound familiar, it may be because they are the same two engines used for the Toyota Supra.)

bmw 2 series
www.daniel-kraus.com
bmw 2 series
www.daniel-kraus.com

Like the Supra, BMW will offer both cars with an eight-speed automatic. BMW is keen to point out the cars will have shift paddles, launch control and an optional Sprint function that lowers to the lowest usable gear when you hold the left paddle. However, the transmission will also do decidedly non-purist things, incorporating route topography and traffic for optimal shifting. Like BMW did with the 3 Series, it's still expected that the new M2 Coupe will have a stick shift option.

bmw 2 series
daniel kraus
bmw 2 series
daniel kraus

As for styling, BMW says the 2 Series Coupe's "striking and athletic new exterior design is the first thing that everyone will notice." It's hard to quibble with that statement. BMW made the car longer by 4.2 inches, wider by 2.8 inches and lower by an inch than its predecessor. The design emphasizes the new dimensions with a "turbine style" horizontally-oriented kidney grille — which we might term mustache style — and more space between the A-pillar and front wheel arches. That extra space appears to have come from the rear of the car, which looks stubby and off-kilter.

Starting MSRP for the 2 Series Coupe will be $36,350 for the 230i version and $48,550 for the M240i xDrive. BMW says they will hit the American market in November 2021.

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