BMW has finally launched its first front-wheel drive car, driven by a transverse-mounted three-cylinder engine. Lest brand purists start tearing up their twin kidneys in horror, BMW promises that the compact hatchback will retain much of the driving characteristics of its sportier, rear-wheel drive brethren.
The new car clocks in at 4342mm long, 1800mm wide and 1555mm in height, making it only slightly longer than a 1 Series. Styling cues include short overhangs, long wheelbase, wedge profile, L-shaped rear lights and prominent creases on the sides aligning with the door handles. The wide tailgate features neat cues such as a rear wiper hidden in the roof-mounted spoiler. A large greenhouse includes a triangular window at the A-pillar.
The interior reportedly features a high seating position, comfortable seating for five, three-way split rear seats, and flat-floor trunk space that can expand from 468 to 1510 liters. The rear seat can also slide forward to give more room to luggage. A “kick to open” feature is available for the tailgate.
BMW promises steering and handling tuned to mimic its rear-wheel drive brethren. The 2670mm-long wheelbase and stiff chassis should help in this respect. Front suspension uses struts while the rear uses a multi-link setup.
Powering the 2 Series is a three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine, producing 136 and 220 Nm, good for 0-100 of 9.3 seconds and 198kph top speed. A four-cylinder diesel will also be available, with 150hp and 330Nm, cutting 0-100 to 8.9 seconds, and marginally increasing top speed to 203kph. Other power units will include a power-up engine in the 225i, a 216d, and a 220d with all-wheel drive.
Electronic features will include heads-up display, auto-steer parking, auto-braking, and LED headlamps.
The 2 series is the closest BMW has come to producing an MPV, and from the looks of it, the company could do very well in that category.
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Bandera. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
Copyright © 2014
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94