2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupé G42

2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupé G42

New 2-series Coupe: normal service is resumed Not ready for an EV or a dumpy front-drive hatch? Still keen on the whole Ultimate Driving Machine thing? Then this one’s for you.


Why we’re so excited by the G42 BMW 2-series


Welcome this visitor from a parallel universe. A universe in which BMW still values straightsix petrol engines and rear-wheel drive. Where the design direction flows from the 02 series. Where the M performance division calls the shots, not the need to sell large quantities of blobby hatchbacks to corporate fleets. So here, against the odds, is the all-new 2-series Coupe, arriving in the UK in January at prices yet to be confirmed but expected to be above the 2-series Gran Coupe and below the 3-series. And despite the name, it has next to nothing in common with other versions of the 2-series, which use the front- and all-wheel-drive platform from the current 1-series. Think of it instead as being a junior M4.


2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupé G42

It comes in three versions, all with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The M240i xDrive has a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine – the most powerful inline petrol six on any current BMW – making 369bhp and 369lb ft of torque. It gets from zero to 62mph in 4.3 seconds, with a top speed of 155mph.

The xDrive system follows the same approach as the M5, M3 and M4, by being rear-biased, able to divert up to 100 per cent of torque to the rear wheels when conditions permit, and fitted with an M Sport limited-slip diff that can send all the power to one side if need be. The 240 also comes with an upgraded brake system, complete with blue calipers, while adaptive suspension is among the options. It has the Sport version of the transmission, which brings shift paddles and launch control.

The 220i has a four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine driving the rear wheels. Peak power is 181bhp, and maximum torque is 221lb ft. Top speed is 147mph, and the 0-62mph time 7.5sec. The diesel interloper is the 220d, which has a 2.0-litre four combined with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. It offers 188bhp and 295lb ft and is no slouch; top speed is 147mph and 0-62mph takes 6.9sec. Compared to the last 2-series Coupe, launched in 2014 (and replacing 2007’s 1-series Coupe), it has more room for the front occupants and a slightly bigger boot. In the back, it’s still a modest two-seater. Overall length is up 105mm, wheelbase by 51mm, front track by 52mm and rear by 31mm, and overall width by 52mm, although the height is down by 25mm.

Chassis tech is derived from the new 4-series, and like that slightly larger coupe it has advanced aerodynamics, including an active air-flap control built into the kidney grille.

Seen from some angles, the headlights reference the 02 series, while the Hofmeister kink at the back of the passenger windows nods to decades of BMW saloons and coupes, and the shoulder line resembles the old 1-series Coupe’s. But the angular part-aluminium bodywork is distinctive and bespoke. Although the 2-series Coupe proudly aligns itself with some of the great BMWs of the past, it’s very much a 2022 model. There’s a choice of infotainment and instrument screen sizes, and the driver can operate most functions by touchscreen, control dial, buttons on the steering wheel or voice control. A head-up display is optional.

So, no EV version. No front-wheel drive. No nostril grille. Just how did this glorious oddity slip through the net?

It has next to nothing in common with other 2-series. Think of it as a junior M4

M240i (left) gets black detailing, bigger wheels, trapezoidal tailpipes. Sports seats standard in roomier cabin.


WE ’VE DRIVEN IT. AND WOW!

The M240i, driven in pre-production form, is the best of all worlds this side of the more expensive M340i. And unlike the four-door 3-series saloon, which can be had as plug-in hybrid, electrification of the smaller model is restricted to the starter battery.

Since the circa-450bhp M2 Competition due next summer will share the same physique, the R&D team prioritised instead a beefed-up body structure and a stiffer chassis. It works brilliantly. It was raining cats and dogs on my drive, which took us at full gallop over back roads north of Munich, riddled with radical surface changes. Unperturbed, the M240i tracked like a slot-racer on suction-cup tyres. Although its steering felt heavier than the 220i sampled in the dry, there was no trade-off in terms of precision and feedback.

Driving the two back-to-back, I preferred the more laid-back calibration and more progressive turn-in of the M240i xDrive. This authentic and addictive new 2-series may well be BMW’s farewell present to its loyal petrolhead fans. Don’t miss out.

Like they used to make them. Or even better

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