BMW announced the third model in its 2 Series portfolio, the BMW 2 Series Convertible. It will join the 2 Series Coupé and 2 Series Active Tourer in the line-up from February 2015, with prices starting at £29,180 OTR. The new car replaces the 1 Series Convertible, the most successful car in its class with global sales of more than 130,000 units, and the only one with rear-wheel drive.
The BMW 2 Series Convertible will be available with a choice of four engines, including a new 2.0-litre diesel for the 220d and, for the first time in a BMW convertible, an M Performance variant, the M235i. Fuel economy improvements over the previous model average 18 per cent. The 2 Series Convertible also brings significant improvements in passenger space and access, acoustic comfort, style, dynamism and equipment, while the ConnectedDrive services for the first time include wireless updating of navigation data.
The BMW 2 Series Convertible is longer (by 72mm) and wider (by 26mm) than the model it replaces, and has a wheelbase which has been elongated by 30mm. These increases have been put to good use to enhance passenger access and space, increase driving enjoyment with the roof down and change the proportions so that BMW’s latest compact convertible looks even more stylish.
The electrically operated folding soft top lowers or raises in just 20 seconds at the touch of a button, and can be carried out at speeds of just over 30mph. Additional insulation in the skin of the soft-top improves acoustic comfort, with a 4db noise reduction, and adds to the year-round usability of the car. Improved aerodynamics, with a Cd of just 0.31, also helps to make the cabin quieter. An easier-to-use optional wind deflector provides greater protection against turbulence when travelling top-down.
Once folded, the soft top disappears fully into the boot to give the BMW 2 Series Convertible a premium ‘boat deck’ appearance. Luggage capacity increases by 30 litres to 335 litres, making it the largest boot in its class. A through-loading system is optionally available to increase versatility.
The four-seat interior, with folding rear bench, provides greater space and a more intense open-top driving experience, placing the occupants in a typical BMW set-back position. Rear access benefits from an 11mm wider aperture when the front seats are tilted forwards. Large door pockets, a spacious glovebox, a central storage compartment and two cup holders provide improved in-cabin storage.
The stretched silhouette of the BMW 2 Series Convertible emphasises the tell-tale BMW design characteristics of a long bonnet and wheelbase, short overhangs and a rear-biased cabin. The double kidney grille leans slightly forwards between twin-round circular headlights that narrow towards the centre, replicating the outlines of the lower air intakes. An LED accent light cuts across the top of the lighting unit on the optional Xenon headlights, while Adaptive Headlights featuring Selective Beam technology are also available. Air Curtains in the front apron channel air to outlets in the front side panels, reducing turbulence in the wheel arches to enhance fuel efficiency.
The track widths of the BMW 2 Series Convertible are larger than those of its predecessor, by 41mm at the front and 43mm at the rear, so that the widest part of the car is the rear wheel arch area. This emphasises the greater dynamism of the new model and its unique-in-class rear-drive layout. Horizontal lines at the rear also hint at the car’s wider stance. The rear lights extend into the side panels and feature familiar BMW L-shaped LED light bars. At the sides, a slightly rising shoulder line, swage lines running through the door handles and character lines from the doors and side skirts to the rear panels all point to the car’s sporty, rear-wheel-drive layout.
The interior has been deliberately kept as simple as possible, with layered surfaces, driver-focused controls, clear instruments and a Sport or M Sport leather-covered multi-function steering wheel. Controls for the audio and climate control systems are set against High-gloss Black surfaces and the air vents have chrome surrounds. Switchable ambient lighting is further confirmation of the car’s premium quality. The BMW iDrive controller, linked to a 6.5-inch display screen, gives access to the car’s control systems with minimum distraction.