BMW 2 Series coupe's next generation looks like an enthusiast's dream

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BMW's 2 Series is nearly ready for its big debut. Scheduled to land in showrooms as a 2022 model, the firm's smallest coupe will again cater to enthusiasts by offering rear-wheel-drive and a straight-six engine.

Enthusiasts and journalists often celebrated the current 2 Series as the 2002's modern-day incarnation, and BMW explained it took that praise to heart when developing a replacement. Agile and relatively compact, the next 2 was largely tuned on the Nürburgring's Nordschleife, aka the Green Hell, and engineers increased torsional rigidity by about 12% compared to its predecessor. They also reduced front-end lift by 50%, made the front and rear tracks wider, fitted new shock absorbers, and redesigned the steering system's support bearings to improve feel and feedback. On paper, these improvements create a sharper, more driver-focused car.

At launch, the range will include two models called 230i and M240i, respectively. Details about the rear-wheel-drive 230i weren't released, though it will presumably offer a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power for the M240i will come from a turbocharged, 3.0-liter straight-six rated at 382 horsepower, a generous 47-horse bump. It will spin the four wheels via a rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission. It's too early to tell whether a rear-wheel-drive variant of the M240i and/or a six-speed manual gearbox will be on the roster.

While BMW's images literally keep the 2's design under wraps, spy shots posted on Instagram in 2020 gave us a decent idea of what to expect from the coupe. Up front, it seemingly receives bigger headlights, wider kidney grilles fused into a single unit, and a reshaped air dam integrated into the lower part of the fascia. It's not as polarizing as the second-generation 4 Series, and it looks nothing like the front-wheel-drive 2 Series Gran Coupe. Out back, the L-shaped lights are gone, and the diffuser has grown in size. The overall proportions carry on largely unchanged.

BMW's second-generation 2 Series will make its global debut this summer, meaning it will undoubtedly arrive in showrooms as a 2022 model. We're hoping the range-topping, track-ready M2 will return a little bit later in the car's lifecycle, but whether the lineup will again include a convertible model remains up in the air.

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