BMW LAUNCHES 2 SERIES GRAN COUPE IN MZANSI

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has been on sale in Mzansi for a few months now. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic it was not launched to the media. That has now been remedied and the car can now be explained and detailed to you, our readers, with all the information you need. The 2 Series Gran Coupe is essentially a sporty “sedan” version of the 1 Series hatch. The pair share virtually everything but looks.

As far as dimensions go, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is 4.5 metres long, 1.8m wide, stands 1.4m tall and has a 2.67m wheelbase, which is actually white long for a car in its segment. Being a Gran Coupe means following in some pretty large shoes too, including those of the old 6 Series Gran Coupe and the current 8 Series Gran Coupe. Therefore a lot is being asked of the 2, including good looks. Those are of course subjective, but I can say with certainty that they will be discussed for a while to come.

Some highlights as far as the exterior goes include the usual BMW quad LED headlights flanking the double kidney front grille, a side profile that shows off those frameless doors (it’s a coupe after all), wheels up to 19-inches in size, a sloping rear roofline, thin L-shaped rear lights and a boot that opens like a conventional hatch’s.

The car is of course highly connected, given its younger target market that demands everything screen and touch. Which is what they will get in the 26cm touch screen with Gesture Control activated on some models. The usual raft of features followings, including Bluetooth and c-to-c USB connectivity, BMW Live Cockpit, climate control, a multi-function steering wheel, the centrally mounted iDrive controller and others. Some of the interior surfaces remain sub-premium though and could use a higher level of soft touches. One can specify different colour combinations though, just to add some colour to an otherwise really black space.

Three models are on offer for the Mzansi buyer, namely the 218i, 220d and M235i xDrive. The 218i comes with the company 1.5-litre turbo petrol and delivers some 103kW between 4 600rpm and 6 500rpm, and 220Nm of torque from 1 480rpm to 4 200rpm. It comes with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT pulling the front wheels, a claimed 8.7 second 0 – 100km/h sprint time and a top speed of 215km/h. Average fuel consumption is said to be around 5.5 litres per 100km.

Next is the 220d, the one I would buy for myself if I were looking in this segment. Power comes from a 2.0-litre turbo diesel motor producing 140kW at 4 000rpm and 400Nm between 1 750rpm and 2 500rpm. Its front wheels are pulled forward by an 8-speed automatic, resulting in a claimed 7.5 second sprint from standstill to 100km/h and a top speed of 235km/h. A combined fuel figure of about 4.3 litres per 100km is claimed from the 50 litre diesel tank.

Lastly the M235i xDrive, which looks like it will remain the range-topper for the foreseeable future. Which would of course be unfortunate. It comes with a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine making a segment par 225kW between 5 000rpm and 6 250rpm. Peak torque is quoted at 450Nm from 1 750rpm to 4 500rpm. All that goes to all four wheels via the xDrive AWD system and an 8-speed automatic transmission. BMW says the M235i will achieve the 0 – 100km/h run in 4.9 seconds, topping off at 250km/h. Average fuel consumption lies somewhere between 6.7 and 7.1 litres per 100km, according to BMW’s own figures.

The M235i is definitely the performance model of the lot, although said performance is not wild and unkind, but rather restrained and contained, almost mature. Which is uncharacteristic for the badge, and certainly for the brand. Anyway, it does come at a price, which some may look negatively upon. With the 218i one gets into the 2 Series GC very accessibly, but one does lose some of that cache of a higher model, as well as some performance. This is why I prefer the 220d, a middle ground choice with very much all the ingredients one might seek in this segment.

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Prices

218i – R556 800

220d – R644 600

M235i xDrive – R785 100

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