A Bimmer '2' many? New M235i coupe coming for 2014
Meet the BMW 2 Series, aka the new BMW 1 Series – wait, what?
After the 2014 BMW 2-Series was spotted in camouflage lapping the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany earlier this year, the first uncovered images of the new model were released this week. Specifically, the pictures (see them at Car and Driver) show the 235i in M Sport trim. As opposed to the 1-Series, which had distinctive, squared-off front- and rear-end treatments, the 2-Series more closely echoes the current 3- and coming 4-Series BMWs.
The M235i, as it's likely to be known, will have a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine producing around 320 horsepower and will sit above a base 228i with a 2.0-liter 240-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder. An M2 follow-up to the well-received 1M coupe could top 360 horsepower. An official reveal of the 2-Series is expected to occur near the end of this year, with production beginning as we head into 2014.
The creation and coming debut of the 2-Series is a major step in BMW’s overhaul of its lineup. With the end goal of creating a line of easy-to-distinguish models offering something for everyone – sound familiar, MINI fans? – BMW is coding coupes as even-numbered models and sedans under odd numbers.
As things stand today, here is what BMW will look like in the next couple of years:
- The 1-Series will become the 2-Series with coupe and convertible models.
- The current 3-Series will remain as a sedan, but what was the 3-Series coupe will become the new 4-Series.
- The 5-Series will stay as a sedan, and the 5-Series GT is likely to be discontinued.
- The 6-Series will remain a coupe – save for the 6 Series Gran Coupe, which BMW calls a "4-door coupe," but come on.
- The 7-Series will stay on as the top-of-the-line luxury sedan.
The Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe concept set to debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy at the end of May is bringing a lot of chatter about the reintroduction of the 1990s-era 8-Series.
Plus, the 1-Series is expected to become a front-wheel-drive car based on the platform of the next-generation MINI Cooper. If your head hurts, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
It’s not difficult to alienate a passionate fan base, and with this dramatic rearrangement of its lineup, BMW is risking just that. The thing is, BMW may just be onto something. In 10 years, the enthusiast furor will have died down, and consumers will only see a series of upgrades that are more attainable than those in the current BMW lineup. Knock the coming 1-Series all you want; to some, a front-wheel-drive BMW is sacrilege. What BMW wants is young drivers buying into the first rung of a model ladder that they'll spend most of their lives climbing.
As long as the 3- and 4-Series are predictably great and their M variants remain weapons-grade driving fun, and as long as the M5 continues to be overwhelming in its dual roles of performance machine and family car, BMW won’t lose its legitimacy with driving enthusiasts.
Maybe BMW's plans are a bridge too far and trying to be all things to all people will simply water down the "ultimate driving machine." But we can't fault BMW for trying to increase sales with a new model line that's bigger and starts off as more affordable, at least not yet. Watch this space.
Coming soon: BMW xM235i xDrive i35....
BMW apparently has gone to a badge-creation strategy of drawing Scrabble tiles from a bag and replacing any blanks with the word "Drive" (in case we forget what a BMW car is supposed to do?)
Perhaps they should take some of this "marketing" money and fix their currently abysmal electro-assisted power steering.
Then again since BMW has morphed from an enthusiasts vehicle to a simple status symbol, maybe it isn't necessary.
As for this article, BMW is not adding new vehicles, it is simply relabling its current line-up. Actually following in the footsteps of AUDI, who uses the exact opposite numbering convension (even for sedans, odd for coupes).
I for one have no problem if BMW wants to make a front wheel drive 1-series. My '02 Jetta TDI has FWD and an independent rear suspension. It is a hoot to drive and has been described as "a poor man's BMW." Now that VW has gone to a lame solid rear beam axle in all but the most expensive Jettas I would love to see what "Ultimate Driving Machine" maker can do with a front wheel drive platform. Of course, to make a FWD 1-series more attractive for me would be to offer it with a turbo-diesel and manual transmisssion. That may be asking too much but a guy can dream at least.
I love cars! I love talking about cars! I'm a real motor head. Not sure why I felt the need to say that! lol.
Anyhow, I am not a big fan of BMW. I think they are good cars and I know they are very nice driving "machines", but they are way too overpriced and cost too much to own. What I see (but don't really care based on what I just said about BMW) is that BMW is watering down their line. They have way too many models and now, if I understand correctly, are going to offer FRONT DRIVE models? BMW? Why? I really believe that there are two things a brand can do to kill their sales: 1. Have way too many models/choices and try to be everything to everyone. 2. Have way too few models/choices and be nothing to nobody. Example:
When I first started selling cars in 1988, I sold Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Honda. For this, I will just use Buick. In 1988, Buick had 16 models to choose from: Shyhawk, Skylark, Century, Regal, Lesabre, Park Avenue, Riviera and Estate Wagon. You could get most of them in 2dr and 4dr as well as a wagon in 3 of them giving a total of 16 models. That is really too much! Now compare that to today: Verano 4dr, Regal 4dr, LaCrosse 4dr, Encore small CUV and Enclave large SUV. So today, if you want a Buick, you only have 5 models to choose: 3 sedans and 2 c/suvs. Not one 2dr to be found! So, Buick is a great brand that went from having too many models to not enough models and came close to death due to that. The overall point is that Buick must bring out 3 or 4 more models and offer 2 doors to help bring her back strong. BMW on the other hand, is working on being everything to everyone (where Buick was in 1988) and will only lose their way in doing so.
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