The new BMW 2 Series Coupé: What’s the torque about?

Sporty, tech savvy and advanced safety features are some characteristics embodying the all-new two-door BMW 2 Series Coupé, as it borrows from and improves on its predecessor. And it is now available in South Africa. 

A meticulously planned two-day road trip for the German manufacturer’s latest release, called Enjoy Your Instinct, offered test drivers an opportunity to test its abilities against the backdrop of the beautiful Western Cape wineland and coastal routes. 

Winding paths along the R44’s mountainside on the left and sea views of False Bay on the right are near effortless with multiple driver assistance systems to choose from. 

The longer, wider and lower BMW 2 Series Coupé keeps its grip firmly on the road and maintains its position between the painted lines with BMW’s lane departure technology — the steering wheel vibrates and re-adjusts the vehicle when it drifts to adjacent lanes. 

A surround-view and remote 3D view are accompanied by general assistance systems including helping to stay within the speed limit, park and alerts of rear crossing traffic. 

Adding to its safety features are the BMW head-up display that projects driving-related information onto the windscreen, keeping your eyes on the road. Although this is not a new function in the motor industry, it is new for the 2 Series Coupé. 

Compared to the previous model, the series has a boot opening with more width, while the height of the loading edge has been reduced by 35mm. 

The series’ latest model, built on the current 3 and 4 Series, comes in three models: BMW 220i Coupé, 220d Coupé and the ultimate flagship M240i xDrive Coupé.

The first leg of the two-day road trip was done in the BMW 220d Coupé. Two-stage turbocharging and 48V mild-hybrid technology give the four-cylinder diesel engine a maximum output of 140kW and peak torque of 400Nm. It comes with an M Sport suspension and variable sport steering. 

Turning off the R44 in Hermanus towards the Hemel en Aarde Valley brought on more winding paths, but this time adding uneven road surfaces and a short gravel road. Despite this series’ lower suspension, the 220d Coupé rear-wheel-drive made for comfortable driving. 

Heading back to Cape Town on the M6 en route to Camps Bay, the day was bid farewell with sunset views and an overnight stay at the exclusive Bay Hotel, emphasising the luxury accompanying the new 2 Series.  

Waking up the next day, the calm rhythm of distant waves was soon overwhelmed by the accelerating engine of the flagship BMW M240i xDrive Coupé. 

The second-generation variant boasts of its luxury and comfort with electrically adjusted leather seats and trapezoidal accent surfaces above the armrests in the doors accompanied with standard lighting. 

As with the 220d and 220i, this variant can seat four people with a rear seat backrest, giving access to the boot when transporting longer items. In front, you will find a wireless charging dock, while passengers at the back can make use of auxiliary power outlets.

Outshining the previous model, the 285kW six-cylinder all-wheel drive develops 35kW more than the engine of its predecessor. With a peak torque of 500Nm, the new BMW M240i xDrive Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds.

With all safety measures taken into consideration, we tested this on the road between Philadelphia and Riebeek-Kasteel. Reaching 100km/h just shy of 4.50 seconds, it could if done professionally, comfortably reach it in 4.3 seconds. 

The xDrive comes as standard with an M Sport suspension, M Sport braking system, and an M Sport differential at the rear. The M240i xDrive, different from the series’ other two variants, is an all-wheel drive but channels most power to the rear axles, creating a dynamic driving experience.  

Covering the road from Riebeek-Kasteel to Paternoster was our last chance to drive the sporty M240i xDrive. The road felt too short. The smoothness, agility and prowess of this Series 2 model variant will pave the way for BMW’s future designs. 

The price of this second generation model’s M240i xDrive is more than R1-million, while the M220d (diesel) and M220i (petrol) cost between R770 000 and R820 000.

Whether for daily use or for long distances the new Series 2 Coupé offers safety, new tech and effortless driving. All you need to do is enjoy your instinct.

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Eunice Stoltz
Eunice Stoltz is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian.

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