Can a carbon fiber aero kit conceal the Gran Coupe's odd proportions?
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe isn't our favorite new BMW, and we haven't made a secret about that. One of our gripes with the small Bimmer is its awkward exterior styling; these things are always subjective, but whether looking at it in profile or assessing details like the odd rear-end, it never quite achieves a harmonious balance.
Japanese tuner 3D Design has tried to enhance the visual appeal of the 2 Series Gran Coupe with a new aerodynamic kit. The tuner's previous work includes a 570-hp upgrade for the Toyota Supra. For the 2 Series Gran Coupe, the kit consists of a front lip spoiler, a rear diffuser, and a trunk spoiler.
All the parts are fashioned from carbon fiber, and 3D Design specifies that the lip spoiler and rear diffuser are specifically for the high-performance M235i. The lower front lip is quite aggressive and helps to make the rather large grille look a bit more proportionate to the size of the GC. At the back, while the rather squashed and heavy appearance remains, the trunk spoiler does look pretty good, while the diffuser stands out more than BMW M's default design. The final touch is those 19-inch five-spoke matte Gun Metallic wheels.
Overall, especially in the attractive blue color, we'd say that 3D Design's enhancements make the 2 Series Gran Coupe look a bit better, especially as it sits lower to the ground than the stock model. It still isn't as beautiful as the Mercedes-Benz CLA to our eyes, though.
On the performance front, 3D Design hasn't appeared to make any changes to this M235i. That means you still get a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 301 horsepower which can send the small sedan to 60 mph in under five seconds.
Unfortunately, we found the M235i to suffer from too much understeer, making it a lot less engaging to drive than we'd expect from a BMW. The dreaded moose test also showed up the M235i's less-than-perfect dynamics. Still, for city slickers only interested in that badge and the car's admittedly refined ride, 3D Design now makes it possible to improve its appearance, too.