Here's what we expect from the upcoming M2 CS and 2 Series Convertible.
BMW recently unveiled the 2022 2 Series Coupe, and it looks good. Perhaps not visually, but the specifications are good. It follows the same basic recipe as its predecessors, which means it has a turbocharged inline-six (or four-pot) sending the power to either the rear wheels or an intelligent AWD system. The front and rear tracks are wider, and the wheelbase is two inches longer. Already it looks like a promising sports coupe, even though it won't be available with a manual transmission.
We're more excited about upcoming special editions of the new 2 Series, including the convertible and the inevitable M2 CS. We're skipping right over the equally assured M2 and M2 Competition because the 2020 M2 CS is widely regarded as the best of the bunch.
Before we get to the undisputed star of the show, a look at our render of the upcoming convertible. The design lends itself well to roof removal. The side profile is dominated by a line that runs directly from front to rear. Removing the roof would have no impact on this design feature, as you can see in the side-by-side comparison below.
Engine-wise we can expect the same units used in the new 2 Series Coupe. The 230i has a tweaked version of the existing turbocharged four-pot producing 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The M240i engine produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Will BMW go any higher than that? We don't think so. Looking at the history of the original 1 Series and the 2 Series, BMW never bothered offering drop-top M versions.
At the moment, the 230i is the only RWD option, with the M240i getting xDrive. We reckon both engines will eventually be available in RWD and AWD. BMW's power war with Mercedes necessitated the need to move to AWD, but the 2 Series hasn't reached the kind of power levels that demand it. Yet.
Enter the M2 CS. Having already covered the standard M2, we're skipping ahead to the ultimate model. It's typically one last celebration of an outgoing model. Given the success and immediate iconic status of the 2020 M2 CS, BMW might want to move it forward by a few years. It was widely regarded as the best modern M and a return to what BMW's Motorsport division once stood for.
We expect the usual adornment of carbon fiber on the outside and Alcantara on the inside. Style-wise we expect a similar striking blue hue and gold wheels because it worked perfectly on the previous model. What we're really interested in is the engine, gearbox options and whether it will be rear-wheel-drive only.
The engine will most likely be a detuned version of the new inline-six in the M3/M4. The previous car produced 444 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, and it was enough. It was right on the edge of needing AWD, which is why we don't think a big power gain is on the cards. Maybe BMW's M division will take it up to 460 hp to please the marketing department, but that's it.
It's more crucial, in our opinion, for the upcoming M2 CS to have right-wheel-drive. Yes, BMW's AWD systems are amazing, but nothing beats the real deal. As for gearboxes, we expect the same eight-speed used in the new M3/M4. Those cars famously ditched their dual-clutch transmissions in favor of the above-mentioned automatic. Some cried foul, but the ZF eight-speed barely impacts performance. We also think BMW is smart enough to give it a six-speed manual transmission. For proof, look no further than the current M3, which is available with a stickshift.
Yes, the automatic models are faster and have more power, but BMW, like Porsche, knows that straight-line performance isn't everything. A manual transmission is an unbeatable form of automotive self-expression. You can dip the clutch to induce oversteer, heel-and-toe like a boss, and punch the rev limiter until its nose starts bleeding.
Whatever the case may be, the M version of the 2 Series is the smallest, lightest, and most aggressive out of the bunch, and BMW will not want to mess with that formula.