According to British automotive news media outlet Autocar, the new BMW 2 Series coupe will be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex on July 8. Just over a month ago, we covered the final testing of the upcoming model, which BMW is spinning as a true driver’s car with all of the characteristics that originally attracted us to the brand to begin with: a front-mounted inline-six, rear-wheel-drive, and a level of athleticism you’ll find in few other modern cars.
In addition to all of the tenets that make the quintessential BMW, it’s also being reported that the second-generation 2 Series won’t succumb to the same bold styling that’s been applied to vehicles like the 4 Series, M3, M4, i4, and iX. The rumor comes courtesy of CarBuzz, which cites spy photos of the new Two which have shed more camouflage since we last covered the model. Instead of the new design that seems to be permeating the lineup, the G42 2 Series appears to wear a look similar to what’s found on the 8 Series and the 2 Series Gran Coupé, which inhale through a set of horizontally-oriented kidney grilles above expansive air intakes and sensor arrays. Last month, BMWBlog also reported that the G42 2 Series coupe will be built at BMW’s plant in Mexico, a rumor we examined back in 2019.
Since its arrival for the 2014 model year, the BMW 2 Series has established itself as an important element within the model portfolio. When the 3 Series grew and split into the 4 Series, the 2 Series arrived to fill the gap of the car BMW made its name selling: the practical performer that was fun to drive, whether on a twisted backroad or to the local shopping center. As the 2 Series model range expanded, the M2 was brought into the fold, and quickly became BMW’s most popular M model, and for good reason. Everything that made the 2 Series exceptional, from the four-cylinder 228i and 230i to the M Performance M235i and M240i, was amplified in the M2, which made it one of the best driver’s cars in recent memory, regardless of which variant you settle on.
Speaking of the M2, now that the current generation has had its swan song in the form of the limited-production M2 CS, the next generation is slated to arrive in 2022. As of March of last year, we suspected that the model would use BMW’s current S58 M inline-six engine and be offered with a manual transmission. The latest summary of rumors from BMWBlog suggests the same, but with additional details that indicate between 480 and 490 horsepower, which is directly inline with the engine’s output, and the lack of M xDrive, which would preclude the use of a manual transmission on vehicles in which it is equipped, just like the current M3 and M4 and their Competition derivatives.
As BMW embraces electric drivetrains and contentious styling, the 2 Series stands as a reminder of how the brand became what it is today, and that there’s still something in the lineup for the purists among us. Production of the 230i xDrive and M240i xDrive is scheduled to commence later this summer, with rear-wheel-drive variants following.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]