Once again, the #savethemanuals crowd weeps. And with good reason — the BMW 2-Series, which I remember being quite wonderful to drive the last time I piloted one (it’s been a few years) — will be going automatic only.
That’s not the only change. It’s longer, lower, wider, and the styling is refreshed.
Hitting dealers first will be the rear-drive 230i and all-wheel-drive M240i xDrive. That first one is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Those are increases of 7 hp and 37 lb-ft, respectively.
The M240i xDrive gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that makes 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque and 369 lb-ft of torque. The sole transmission, at least for now, is an eight-speed automatic. A 230i xDrive and M240i and perhaps an M2 will follow the November launch of the first two cars, and perhaps the M2 and/or the M240i will offer three pedals.
We sure hope so, anyway.
An M Sport Package Pro adds M Sport brakes, 19-inch lightweight wheels, gloss exterior trim, unique headlights, black front spoiler lip, black M rear spoiler, black exhaust tips, black grille surround, and a Sprint mode that can temporarily shift to the lowest usable gear and call up the sportiest settings for a quick blast. An electronically locking rear differential is standard in the AWD car, which has rear-drive bias. The car’s stability control system can limit understeer by shifting power.
The front suspension is spring strut and the rear is five-link. An optional M Sport suspension firms up the dampers and springs. All-wheel-drive cars are standard with an adaptive suspension.
Available driver-assist tech includes lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, frontal-collision warning with braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot detection, and smart cruise control.
Other available or standard features include iDrive, navigation, head-up display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa integration, satellite radio, moonroof, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, adaptive LED lighting, premium audio, drive recorder, and automatic high beams.
BMW has bestowed the car with somewhat funky styling, especially in the rear, but the grille is at least not as oversized as it is on other cars in the lineup.
If the 2 tickles you were it feels good, so to speak, the price of entry is $36,350 for a rear-drive car and $48,550 for the M240i xDrive, plus the $995 destination fee.