BMW 2 Series Grand Coupe launched
The compact executive sedan market is one that is increasingly garnering the attention of manufacturers and buyers alike. With the success of the Audi A3 Sedan, the Mercedes CLA and now A-Class sedan, BMW decided not to rest on their laurels. Based on the new front wheel drive 1 Series platform, the engineers in Munich have developed the brand new 2 Series Gran Coupe.
Despite what the name alludes to, it does not share a platform with the rear wheel drive 2 Series Coupe, which will soon be replaced. Instead, it is a front wheel drive compact executive sedan. The design language is very similar from what we have seen on the 1 Series, especially at the front. The large, trapezoidal kidney grilles from the 1 Series are present and correct. The sleek, upward pointing headlights are there too, giving the front end a wide, purposeful look. Depending on whether you specify the optional “M” body kit, the low bumper either has large air intakes, with silver detailing on the M235i or on the standard car, a more demure look to the bumper, which houses the foglamps.
Down the side, and up to the B-pillar, everything remains relatively similar to the 1 Series. At the rear… lets just say this is the seat of controversy with the 2GC’s design. It has a sloping roofline, that does into a boot line that’s reminiscent of BMW’s now defucnt GT line-up. A very high rear profile, that doesn’t really match the rest of the car. That said, the rear taillights are slim and elegant, and the rear bumper features real exhaust tips, with a faux diffuser on the M235i model, which has trapezoidal exhaust tips.
The interior is very similar to the 1 Series. Its well built and incredibly functional, even though the design remains rather dated, and isn’t as transformative as what we’ve seen in the A-Class Sedan. However, it features high quality materials at all the necessary touch points, and every single piece of technology is available as standard, or as an optional extra. The infotainment screen houses the latest version of iDrive, and can be controlled using the rotary dial, the touch screen or by saying “Hey BMW” (where have we heard that one before). You can spec Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and seamlessly integrate your smart phone, to use your preferred navigation, play music, take calls or reply to texts. Behind the lovely to hold steering wheel is a digital display cluster, which, although not as advanced as the systems we’ve seen in the competition, does allow you to display various vehicle functions, your directions for the navigation, and the music that is being played.
The rear of the 2GC is what will sway buyers away from the 1 Series. The large 430 litre boot, coupled with slightly more legroom will make this a practical choice for those who need to space. So too will the fact that the rear seats fold in a very practical 40:20:40 split. The 2 GC is definitely more practical. When it comes to looks, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder… however beauty may have been absent from the 2GC’s design brief.
The 2 Series Gran Cope will be available with 2 petrol and 1 diesel motor. The base model starts at R562,320, and that will get a 218i, a 1,5 litre turbocharged 3 cylinder motor that produces 103kW and 220NM, and sends power to the front wheels via a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. In the middle of the range is the 220d, which starts at R649,016. That gets you a 2,0 litre turbocharger diesel 4-cylinder motor, that produces 140kW and a large 400NM. That power is sent to the front wheels via a 8-speed automatic gearbox. At the top of the range is the M235i. It starts at R795,864, and for that you get a 2,0 lire turbo charge 4 cylinder, which produces 225kW and 450NM Sent to all 4 wheels through an 8 speed automatic gearbox.
A comprehensive range for sure, but you will have to accept a quite interesting design.