BMW has crowned its expanded compact car line-up with the new 2 Series Gran Coupé, its first small four-door coupé – and the model has made its first public debut at this year's Los Angeles motor show.
Available to order now priced from £25,815, with UK deliveries in March, the new Mercedes-Benz CLA rival expands the 2 Series line-up alongside the existing Coupé, Convertible and Active Tourer – although it is built on a different platform from those models. While the Coupé will continue as rear-wheel drive, the new Gran Coupé is front-wheel drive and uses the same FAAR architecture as the recently launched – and closely related – 1 Series.
The Gran Coupé model designation started with the 4 Series and 6 Series in 2012 and has recently expanded with an 8 Series version. The 2 Series Gran Coupé product manager, Gernot Stuhl, said BMW “felt there was room for a smaller Gran Coupé model that would sit below the 3 Series in terms of size”.
Although Stuhl said the “emotional concept” is aimed at a younger, design-focused audience, he insisted “the key focus is on driving dynamics”. He added: “We wanted to stress the design and sportiness with this car but, unless it offers strong driving performance, it’s not a real BMW.”
There will initially be three variants of the 2 Series Gran Coupé in the UK. The entry-level 218i features a 138bhp, 162lb ft 1.5-litre petrol unit and the 220d is powered by a 188bhp, 295lb ft 2.0 diesel. The 218i gets a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox but other models have an eight-speed auto.
The range-topping M235i xDrive (pictured here) gains all-wheel drive along with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder twinturbo petrol engine producing 302bhp and 332lb ft. BMW claims a 0-62mph time of 4.9sec with a limited top speed of 155mph.
The 2 Series Gran Coupé has the same mechanical underpinnings as the 1 Series, with the M235i featuring a Torsen limited-slip differential, BMW’s ARB traction control system, M Sport brakes and extra bracing for stiffness. The new four-door coupé is 4526mm long and 1800mm wide, making it 94mm longer and 26mm wider than the 2 Series Coupé, although the 2670mm wheelbase is 20mm shorter. It is 183mm shorter and 27mm narrower than the current 3 Series.
The 2 Series Gran Coupé gets its own version of BMW’s kidney grille, which is wider than the one on the 1 Series and designed to reflect those used on other Gran Coupé models. It features horizontal slats on lower-end models and a mesh grille on the M235i. The range-topping model also has enlarged air inlet surrounds, along with bespoke rectangular exhausts at the back.