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Nip and tuck for BMW's compact range

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Munich, Germany – BMW has given its two smallest ranges a subtle but distinctive facelift, with revised front and rear styling and, particularly in the case of the 2 Series, a new, more pilot-centric flight deck.

The 2 Series coupé and convertible share a crisper front treatment, with a bigger kidney grille and new Bi-LED headlights; adaptive full LED headlights are an option and, in either case, the familiar twin-circular set-up has been flattened a little at the top and bottom for a hexagonal look.

The two outer air intakes in the three-hole front apron are appreciably larger, making the cars wider at street level and giving them a more ‘road-hugging’ stance. At the rear, new one-piece L-shaped LED tail-light clusters extend down the sides of the cars to make their taucked in tails look a little sleeker without increasing the rear overhang – the cars’ length stays the same at a compact 4432mm.

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Two new blues and a deep metallic orange have been added to the standard range of paint colours, and you now have 17 different rim designs to choose from, in 17, 18, and 19 inch diameters, depending on how bone-jarring a ride up with which you are prepared to put.

The 2 Series cockpit follows current Eurotrends in that BMW has smoothed out the horizontal lines to make it look more spacious, and tried to simplify the controls while adding ever more functions to the gizmotronic menu.

Premiumness is emphasised by contrast stitching and gloss black finish on the centre stack, a more upmarket range of leather and fabric trim options, revised air vents with more integrated styling and chrome switchgear in the door panels. The 22cm central display is now a touchscreen as well, if you opt for the optional Navigation Professional system, while still offering the usual iDrive, Touch controller and voice control operation.

The updated 2 Series coupé and convertible will be available to order in South Africa from late July or early August, with first deliveries planned for September 2017. The range will mirror that currently available: the tintop will be offered in 220i, 220d and 230i format (each with a two-litre turbofour in varying states of tune), led by the three-litre, straight-six M240i, each with a choice of manual or auto transmission, while the drophead will come in 220i, 230i and M240i turbopetrol flavour.

Prices, as always, when they get here.

Special Edition 1 Series

The 1 Series five-door hatches show very limited exterior changes, except for the Edition Sport Line Shadow, Edition M Sport Shadow and BMW M140i Edition Shadow, which have blacked-out kidney grilles, black inserts in the LED headlights and darkened LED rear lights. Seaside blue and metallic orange join the paint palette and there are five new rim designs to choose from.

The cockpit has had the same upgrades as that of the 2 Series, including the new 22cm touchscreen, smoother horizontals and chrome door-panel switch gear.

It will be released in South Africa at the same time, in your choice of three-cylinder 1.5-litre turbopetrol 118i, two-litre 120i and 125i M Sport turbopetrol fours, 120d two-litre turbodiesel four and the M140i three-litre turbo straight-six formats – all but the 125i M Sport available with your choice of manual or auto transmission.

The 165kW M Sport, it would appear, is seen as the purists’ choice and comes only with a manual ‘box.

IOL Motoring

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