BMW is playing the numbers game yet again with its all-new 2-Series Coupe.
Just like the 4 Series replaces the two-door 3 Series, the 2 Series basically takes off where the 1 Series Coupe left off, and its name will also evoke memories of that legendary little BMW 2002 of 1968.
So even though the 2 Series is based on the 1 Series chassis, it has different dimensions and flaunts a completely fresh design.
According to BMW's measuring tape, the 4432mm-long 2 Series is a whole 108mm longer than the 1 Series and 72mm longer than its predecessor while also being lower and wider.
While future 1 Series derivatives are almost certain to switch to front-wheel drive, the 2 Series still pumps its muscle through the back wheels like a proper driver's car should.
3-LITRES, 240 PONIES
And a proper sporting machine it is, particularly the M235i, which is powered by the most potent iteration of BMW's 3-litre TwinPower turbopetrol engine. Pushing 240kW between 5800 and 6000rpm and 450Nm from 1300, the eight-speed automatic version will allegedly sprint to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds - adding 0.2s in the case of the manual. The official average fuel consumption is just 7.6 l/100km, in a laboratory at least.
The M235i also gains M-specific chassis tuning and an aerodynamically enhanced body kit.
The other petrol option is the 135kW/270Nm 2-litre TwinPower turbo in the 220i, which gets to 100 in seven seconds on the dot and sips 6.0 l/100km.
Three 2-litre four-cylinder diesel versions are on offer too in the 160kW/450Nm 225d, 135kW/380Nm 220d and 105kW/320Nm 218d. In automatic form, the models accelerate to 100 in 6.3, 7.1 and 8.6 seconds respectively, while sipping 4.7, 4.4 and 4.4 l/100km.
Balanced and agile road holding is ensured not only by its rear-wheel drive configuration and optimal weight distribution but also by its double-joint spring front suspension and five-link rear set-up. Adaptive M suspension, along with variable sport steering and an M Sport braking system can be ticked on the options list.
Inside the 2 Series resembles the 1 hatch on which it's based, with a driver-focused cockpit design. There's seating for four and boot capacity has increased by 20 litres to a respectable 390 litres.
GADGETS & APPS
Invest your life savings in the options list and you can have items like BMW's Online Entertainment system, complete with apps for Facebook and Twitter, Adaptive Headlights with High Beam Assistant, Parking Assistant, rear-view camera and cruise control with braking function.
The final specifications, pricing and engine line-up for the South African market will be announced closer to its on-sale date, which is currently pencilled in for the first quarter of 2014.