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BMW 2 Series 2022: all-new compact coupe keeps straight-six but ditches the manual

John Law

The BMW 2 Series won many hearts as a small, rear-drive coupe that harked back to the very roots of BMW. And now, we have an all-new new generation.

The 2022 BMW 2 Series coupe has been detailed. In what could be the last hurrah for combustion engines at BMW, the new 2 Series range is set to debut in Australia by the fourth quarter of 2021 with the 220i and M240i xDrive the first to arrive.

The really good news is that the new G42 2 Series retains its rear-drive layout and the option of a six-cylinder engine. However, BMW does not offer a manual gearbox for any variant.

BMW M240i xDrive 2022-2
Here it is – the all-new 2022 BMW 2 Series coupe.

The new 2 Series has a distinctive look about it. BMW says the new coupe calls back to the 02 Series cars with those small, isolated LED headlights. Those kidney grilles have another totally new design that distances the 2 Series both from its predecessor and the 4 Series coupe.

The proportions of the M240i xDrive call back to the BMW M2 with those flared rear haunches and bulldog stance. We’re not convinced by the rear end design, but we’ll wait to see the new 2 in the flesh before forming our final opinion.

What we are sure of is that we love the all-new ‘Thundernight Purple’ hue worn by the pictured M240i xDrive.

BMW M240i xDrive 2022-5
Inside the 2 Series adopts the corporate cabin design.

Inside the 2 Series is in keeping with the current BMW family. There’s a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display to replace the old 2 Series’ analogue dials and a 10.25-inch touchscreen in the centre. 

Every 2 Series variant will be fitted with leather-appointed sports seats as standard and a sports steering wheel. There’s also ambient lighting now and, on the M240i, extra knee padding.

How big is the new 2 Series?

One of the things that the old F22 2 Series coupe had going for it was compact dimensions. That car was almost the same size as the fan-favourite E46 3 Series in size.

BMW M240i xDrive 2022-6
Those flared haunches wouldn’t look out of place on an M2.

The new 2 Series is bigger in (almost) every dimension measuring 4,537mm long (up 105mm) and 1,831mm wide with a 50mm longer (2,741mm) wheelbase.

BMW has widened the tracks by up to 63mm at the front and 35mm at the back. Interestingly, the new 2 Series sits significantly lower than before at just 1,390mm tall, down by 28mm.

That extra size should be good for cabin space, though the 2 Series retains the same four-seat layout as before. Despite its growth, the 2 Series’ 390L boot is unchanged in size.

What engines has BMW chosen for the 2 Series?

BMW 230i 2022
The new 2 Series is significantly bigger than before.

The 2 Series coupe is based on BMW’s rear-wheel-drive cluster architecture, and as such, bears little relation to the 2 Series Gran Coupe

That means that the engines effectively carry over from the previous 2 Series. The range starts with the 220i with a 2L turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 135kW of power and 300Nm of torque.

The 220i sends its power exclusively to the rear wheels via a ZF eight-speed torque converter automatic. BMW will not offer a six-speed manual transmission on the new 2 Series. 

BMW 230i 2022
This is the 220i which will be the entry point to the new 2 Series range at launch.

Above that, a 230i will join the range in the middle of 2022. This will use the same ‘B48’ engine in a higher state of tune, producing 180kW of power and 400Nm of torque and driving the rear wheels.

In Europe, a 220d will be available, which bundles a 48v mild-hybrid system into the powertrain with a 2L turbodiesel engine for outputs of 140kW/400Nm. However, it’s unlikely this model will come to Australia.

The new BMW M240i xDrive

Finally, the halo 2 Series (prior to the next M2) will come in the form of the M240i xDrive. This is the only variant to score the twin-scroll turbocharged 3L six-cylinder engine producing 285kW and 500Nm.

BMW M240i xDrive 2022-4
The M240i will be the fastest 2 Series coupe you can buy… for now.

It may come as sad news to some, but the M240i will now only be available with xDrive and an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission. 

BMW will fit adaptive suspension which works in conjunction with switchable drive modes as standard on the M240i. The adaptive suspension will be an option on the other variants.

Additionally, the M240i will be available with an M Sport Pro pack. This will included larger brakes, front and rear lip spoilers and bigger 19-inch alloy wheels

BMW M240i xDrive 2022-7
The M240i will only be available with xDrive, but it looks like drifting could still be on the cards.

The new 2 Series will make a significant leap in safety with adaptive cruise control, lane trace assist, head-up display, 360-degree monitor and rear cross-traffic alert all available. 

BMW will reveal Australian pricing and specification details closer to the 2 Series’ launch in early 2022.