BMW is trying to elevate the premium sub-compact segment, and its brand-new 2 Series promises to deliver an unparalleled driving experience. Two versions of this exciting new car were on display in-the-steel here at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
More is better, right? It must be! Building on the things that made its entry-level 1 Series great, these new cars offer rear-wheel-drive dynamics, near perfect weight distribution and lots of high technology.
Buyers will be able to choose from a pair of 2 Series models on the BMW menu. There's an entry-level 228i and then there's a enthusiast-focused M235i, which is first BMW M Performance car to be offered in the United States.
Like a Labrador puppy these cars are bursting with exuberance. On the outside the 2 Series is a happy, smiling vehicle, and believe it or not, it's significantly larger than the 1 Series it replaces. They're almost three inches longer, 1.3 inches wider and ride atop a longer wheelbase.
The 228i is powered by a refined 2.0-liter turbo-four that cranks out a healthy 240 horsepower along with 258 lb-ft of torque. The M-ified version of the 2 Series features a force-fed 3.0-liter straight six, and it deploys 322 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of twist.
An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with both models for maximum efficiency and performance. A six-speed manual is still available THANK GOD. Standard start/stop technology also helps boost fuel economy.
Now, aside from its larger engine, a number of features separate the M235i from the plain-Jane 228i. It benefits from standard features including things like sport brakes, variable steering and an adaptive suspension. A limited-slip differential is available through the company's accessories catalog.
The 2014 BMW 2 Series is expected to go on sale in the United States very soon. Look for it at dealers in the first quarter of this year. As for dollars and cents, the 228i kicks off at $33,025 while the M235i starts at $44,025. Both of these figures include $925 in destination and handling fees.
More: 2014 BMW 228i, M235i Revealed in Detroit