The BMW 2 Series Convertible is the third model in the company‘s 2 Series line-up and comes to market as a direct replacement for the 1 Series Convertible – a vehicle that was the most successful car in its class with global sales of more than 130,000 units.
The new car will initially 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.
The BMW 2 Series Convertible delivers enhanced safety for occupants and pedestrians compared with the previous model through a combination of a more rigid body and advanced safety features. Torsional stiffness has been raised by 20 per cent and bending stiffness is 10 per cent higher, despite a decrease in body weight, thanks to extensive use of high- and ultra-high-strength steels.
The A-pillars with strengthening elements and joints made from hot-formed steel combine with the aluminium bars hidden behind the rear seats to form a survival space for occupants in the event of a roll-over accident. The roll-over bars are triggered automatically in fractions of a second if the car’s electronic sensors detect any risk. Strong supporting structures, precisely defined load paths, large deformation zones and intelligent restraint systems ensure that the BMW 2 Series Convertible meets or surpasses safety requirements around the world. Meanwhile, an active bonnet which rises at the rear and contains special deformation areas provides optimum pedestrian protection.
The car’s restraint systems include front airbags, side airbags with head airbags integrated into the seat backrests, seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters in the front seats and ISOFIX child-seat attachment points in the rear. Also standard is a Tyre Pressure Monitoring system which registers any loss of pressure and activates a signal in the instrument cluster to warn the driver.
Four BMW TwinPower Turbo engines featuring a suite of EfficientDynamics technologies endow the BMW 2 Series Convertible with superior performance to its predecessor, with an average 18 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. The engines include a new 2.0-litre diesel for the 220d and, for the first time in a BMW convertible, an M Performance power unit for the M235i. There are also two 2.0-litre petrol engines available, the 220i and 228i. All are more powerful than the engines in the previous model and meet EU6 emissions standards.
The new 2.0-litre diesel engine develops 14hp and 50Nm of torque more than the previous unit, with greater efficiency. The combined fuel economy is 60.1mpg with the six-speed manual transmission or 64.2mpg with the eight-speed automatic gearbox which is optional on every model, while the respective CO2 emissions are 124g/km and 116g/km. It features an aluminium crankcase with thermally joined liners to reduce internal friction, and balancer shafts to eliminate vibrations. An enhanced turbocharger and an improved common-rail direct-injection system operating at up to 2,000 bar raise efficiency, and the engine is also lighter and quieter than its predecessor.
The M Performance 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine in the M235i develops 326hp and 450Nm of torque from only 1,300rpm with the aid of twin-scroll turbocharging, high-precision centrally positioned multi-hole direct injectors, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. The result is an infectious cocktail of high-revving ability, responsive power, instantaneous torque and sports car performance with the utmost efficiency. Acceleration from zero to 62mph is achieved in 5.2 seconds with the manual gearbox and 5.0 seconds with the automatic, yet combined fuel economy is 33.2mpg in the manual and 35.8mpg in the automatic, while CO2 emissions are 199g/km and 184g/km respectively.
This efficiency is due in no small part to the extensive EfficientDynamics features on every model. These include lightweight body engineering, sleek aerodynamics with Air Curtains at the front, Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and an ECO PRO mode within the standard Driving Experience Control system. This can reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent by modifying accelerator and engine management responses, putting the climate control system into its most efficient setting and even giving the driver tips on how to drive economically through the Proactive Driving Assistant with the BMW Professional navigation system.
The longer wheelbase, increased track widths and stiffer body of the BMW 2 Series Convertible, allied to the latest driver assistance systems, ensure that the driving experience has been raised to even greater levels. The car has the typical sporty agility of a rear-drive BMW with an ideal front-to-rear weight distribution, combined with exceptional comfort. The double-joint tie-bar front suspension with spring struts and five-link rear axle have been precision-tuned for the BMW 2 Series Convertible.
The standard electronic assistance systems include Dynamic Stability Control; incorporating Anti-lock Braking, Dynamic Traction Control, Cornering Brake Control and Dynamic Brake Control. These are supported by Brake Assist, Fading Compensation, Brake Drying, the Start-Off Assistant and the Active Differential Brake. The car can also be specified with either M Sport or Adaptive M Sport suspension and M Sport braking system.
The BMW 2 Series Convertible can be fully connected with the outside world through a wide range of standard-fit and optional ConnectedDrive features. They include, for the first time on any BMW, a new Professional navigation system which updates navigation data free and wirelessly through the built-in SIM card. This is capable of supporting the LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless standard, which is up to five times faster than 3G.
Every BMW 2 Series Convertible comes with Bluetooth hands-free telephone connectivity with audio streaming and a USB interface, a DAB tuner, BMW Emergency Call and BMW TeleServices as standard. These can be supplemented with BMW Navigation or Professional multimedia system, Internet connectivity, BMW Online Services, Online Entertainment, Real Time Traffic Information, enhanced Bluetooth with Voice Control, Remote Services and Information Plus.
Customers can also specify the Driving Assistant with camera-based Lane Change and Lane Departure warning systems. It also features Attention Assistant to alert a potentially drowsy driver. Collision Warning primes the brakes and alerts the driver if the 2 Series Convertible gets too close to the car in front. Rear Park Distance Control is standard, and can be supported with Park Distance Control at the front as part of the Driver Comfort package. A Reversing Assist camera is also offered.
The M Sport suspension and braking system, with model-specific tuning, are standard on the 228i and M235i, which also has custom-tuned Variable Sport steering. The suspension set-up and damping of the range-topping model takes into account, not only its exceptional performance, but also the characteristics introduced by its soft roof. Options include a BMW M Performance limited-slip differential.
The BMW 2 Series Convertible is on sale from 28 February, 2015. It will be priced from £29,180 OTR for a 220i Sport Convertible.