NAIAS 2014: BMW 2-Series Is The Only Thing With A Roundel On It That I'm Interested In

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
naias 2014 bmw 2 series is the only thing with a roundel on it that i m interested

Even though the BMW i8, i3 and M3/M4 were the starts of the BMW stand (in that order), I was more interested in the upcoming 2-Series. Unlike the Mercedes-Benz CLA and the Audi A3, the 2-Series is rear wheel drive, as the future 1-Series moves to a front-drive platform shared with Mini.

The 2-Series looks to be about the size of the E46 coupe, with better proportions than the too-tall 1-Series. In this case, model bloat appears to work in its favor. Not only is it a more elegant design, but smaller adults may actually fit in the rear seats.

A BMW representative raved to me about the M235i, the fully loaded baby Bimmer with monobloc calipers, M fender badges, a twin-turbo I6 and, oddly enough, an automatic gearbox for the display model. Sitting to its left was a 228i, with the N20 four-banger and sliding piston calipers. The M235i, he told me, will hit 60 mph in about 4.8 seconds.

And the 228i? “About 5.1 is what we estimate.” So, inconsequential in the real world, but great for advertising and forum-bragging purposes. “But,” he countered, “by the time you option up a 228i, you may as well just get an M235i.”

I shrugged. Give me a plain jane 228i with the 6-speed manual. At roughly 3300 lbs and 240 horsepower, it’s enough grunt for me.

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12 of 55 comments
  • Tyler Armstrong Tyler Armstrong on Jan 13, 2014

    Price wise it is awfully close to a 3 series.

    • Chris FOM Chris FOM on Jan 14, 2014

      There's a more breathing room, which in theory this is the step down from using BMW's new nomenclature, but if you're looking t the 3-series (or are simply more interested in the sedan anyway) then yeah, things get tight pretty quick. The gap between an M235 and a 335 is only $300, although the M235 is more directly equivalent to a 335 M-sport with PPK, which pushes the gap closer to $5k, which is also roughly the differential between a 228 and a 328. But it's certainly far closer than the gap between a 528 and a 328, or a 535 and a 335.

  • Xflowgolf Xflowgolf on Jan 14, 2014

    Are there any specs out yet on this 2-series? Despite it being labeled by press as a "mini" or "compact" car, I'm curious what it's actual length/width/height etc. are in comparison to say an E36 coupe. Often with model bloat, new lower denomenated models end up being as big as or bigger than their forebearers in their prime... basically a 2 series may now be in the sweet spot that the E36 M3 occupied. Perhaps I'll stumble to NAIAS with a tape measure.

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    • Xflowgolf Xflowgolf on Jan 15, 2014

      @Chris FOM interesting. copied from a commenter below, it appears The E36 M3 was the same length. The new "2" is wider and not quite as tall. E36 M3 specs: (L) 174.5″ (W) 67.3″ (H) 52.6″ Weight: 3,175 lbs

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Jan 14, 2014

    I'm with 3Deuce. A wagon, or 5-door HB. If they'd ever brought the 1 HB over here, I'd own one, but the 2D 128 went away after two years. Still miss driving it, but not trying to live with two doors and a very short trunk lid. Derek, did you guys get the 3- or 5-door HB up there in Canada?

  • Ccd1 Ccd1 on Jan 14, 2014

    My understanding is that the 228 will be just under 3,000 lbs and the M235i will be just under 3,300 lbs. I read somewhere that the heavier 6 plus reinforcing are the culprits in the weight gain. I also read that the 2 Series was going to have 50/50 weight distribution. I'm wondering whether that would only apply to the 228, leaving the 235i a tad nose heavy.

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    • Burgersandbeer Burgersandbeer on Jan 14, 2014

      @ccd1 228i is pretty close to an E36 M3 Coupe. E36 M3 specs according to Edmunds: (L) 174.5" (W) 67.3" (H) 52.6" Weight: 3,175 lbs Same power, though the 228i does it with a bit more torque lower in the rev range. The good news is the 228i gets much better gas mileage and is much better equipped for dramatically less $. I think E36 M3s were around $40k near the end of their run. I would like to think the 228i is more reliable too, but who knows with BMW. Probably less reliable now that I think about it.