Just as we suspected back in 2019, the new BMW 2 Series coupe is being produced in Mexico at BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosi, the automaker’s newest manufacturing facility. The second-generation 2 Series coupe is due to arrive in 2022, and the factory responsible for building it, which opened in 2019, was the recipient of a $125,000,000 investment to prepare it for such an undertaking. San Luis Potosi now employs an additional 82 robots in the body shop, and the plant can now produce plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as well.
Harald Gottsche, president and CEO of BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosi made the following statement: “Two years after starting operations, our plant integrates a new model to its production line. This has been possible thanks to the great talent of the team in San Luis Potosi. We are proud to be able to exclusively assemble this vehicle in Mexico for the worldwide market. With the new 2 Series coupe we will show the enormous capacity existing in this country. I am convinced that this will be the first of many other successful launches.”
Moving production of the 2 Series from BMW Group Plant Leipzig, where the outgoing F22 coupe and F23 convertible were made, makes logistical sense. The U.S. is the largest single market for the primarily rear-wheel-drive 2 Series, accounting for 33% of first-generation sales. Germany and the U.K. follow the U.S. respectively in terms of two-door 2 Series sales volume, and as a key component of BMW’s global decentralized production network, San Luis Potosi, which has been manufacturing the G20 3 Series since it came online in 2019, is ready to export the new model globally.
“The BMW Group Plant in San Luis Potosi builds on the experience and best practices of the global production network. As the latest addition to the network, it benefits from the latest innovative and highly efficient technologies, which have also contributed to it becoming one of the company’s most sustainable production sites. Thanks to its flexible production system and its highly qualified team, we can take premium vehicles from Mexico to the whole world,” explained Milan Nedeljkovic, the BMW board member responsible for overseeing production.
The G42 2 Series coupe was designed by Jose Casas, a Mexican who works as a senior designer for BMW in Munich. Two initial models will come to the U.S., the M240i xDrive and the 230i. The rear-wheel-drive M240i and the 230i xDrive are slated to arrive later, and the lineup will eventually grow to include the next-generation M2 and its various sub-models. The most powerful version of BMW’s B58 turbocharged inline six engine is used in the M240i, with 382 horsepower from 5,800 to 6,500 rpm, and 369 pound-feet of torque from 1,800 to 5,000. The 230i relies upon the B48 turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which develops 255 horsepower from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 1,550 to 4,400. The ubiquitous ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is the only drivetrain choice, marking the end of the manual transmission in the 2 Series. There remains hope for the next-gen M2, however, which could still be offered with a manual, like the current G80 M3 and G82 M4. The G42 2 Series coupe is comprised of approximately 4,000 individual parts and that new purple color is called Thundernight Metallic.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]