The 2 Series is larger than the car that it replaces, being 72mm longer and 26mm wider than the 1 Series Convertible. The increase in size is intended to deliver a more usable product than its predecessor ever managed to be.
The 2 Series’ wheelbase is also 30mm longer than before, meaning that there’s a bit more leg room in the back, and there’s an additional 30 litres of storage in the boot, expanding it to 335 litres in total.
The car’s real packaging trick is played out in front and largely on top of the bag-swallowing bit. The 220d’s electrically operated folding soft-top is either pitched or packed away in about 20 seconds, a procedure it will carry out at road speeds of up to 31mph.
BMW claims the skin of the fabric is better insulated against wind noise, by as much as 4dB in terms of cruising refinement, relative to the old convertible 1 Series. We’ll find out if that makes the new car a particularly hushed example of its type in due course.
Thanks to extensive and imaginative use of high-strength steel, the torsional rigidity of the 2 Series has been raised by 20 percent over the 1 Series, with resistance to bending improved by 10 percent. That, says BMW, comes despite a decrease in kerb weight.
Like the closed 2 Series, this weight is distributed evenly front and back, with the bumps managed by front MacPherson struts and multi-link suspension to the rear – both retuned for the new application. Compared with its forebear, the tracks are significantly wider, too.