BMW injects next-gen M240i with 47 extra horses, stiffer chassis

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BMW/Bernhard Limberger

BMW’s hooning its next-gen 2 Series Coupe around tracks and curvy back roads to put the finishing touches on its engine, chassis, and suspension tuning, and our first peek at the stats of the turbo straight-six powerplant under its hood are quite promising.

This 2 Series Coupe is not, as a point of clarification, the 2 Series Gran Coupe whose front-wheel-drive architecture so ruffled the feathers of the BMW faithful. The tidy two-door in these photos fulfills a more traditional Bavarian sports-car brief; power (primarily) to the rear wheels, with a straight-six in upper performance trims.

BMW will offer the M-lite version of the 2 Series Coupe—which packs a 3.0-liter straight six from the M340i—in both xDrive and RWD-only variants, though the xDrive model will become available first, in late summer of this year. (If you want to save a few dollars and some weight, hold out for the RWD version that will follow it). The fun news? The M240i xDrive will boast 382 hp from a 3.0-liter inline-six, a 47-hp increase over the outgoing model. That’s even more grunt than the original M2, which managed 365 hp.

Neither, it seems, is BMW totally letting the 2 Series Coupe lose its driver-first focus. The xDrive model gets the electronic M sports rear diff, and all 2 Series Coupes get wider front and rear tracks, plus new shock absorbers. Torsional rigidity is up 12 percent, and the front axle sports stiffer support bearings to lend more nuance to steering feel. Variable Sports Steering, and BMW’s adaptive M suspension, are optional. Weight distribution is a hair shy of 50:50.

One big demerit? The only available transmission for the M240i is automatic, which means no manual for six-cylinder fiends. While it’s possible a stick will still be offered for the four-cylinder 230i on the horizon, we can at least count on a clutch pedal for the eventual M2.

Is the 2 Series poised to continue as the destination for BMW drivers still pining for a modern interpretation of the classic 2002? We can’t wait to get behind the wheel and report back.

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