BMW Offers First Look at New 2-Series Convertible

Bavarian maker adds another al fresco option.

by on Sep.09, 2014

BMW adds a smaller ragtop to its cabrio line-up.

For those who prefer open-air motoring, BMW is adding yet another cabriolet to its expansive line-up, a downsized model based on its recently added 2-Series coupe family.

The new 2-Series Convertible will reach U.S. showrooms next year, just in time for warm weather, the maker promises, with a starting price of $38,850 for the base 228i soft-top.

Clear the Air!

Despite the steady decline of the U.S. convertible market, BMW has been expanding its offerings, now giving buyers a choice of small, medium and large, marketed in the form of the 2-Series, 4-Series and 6-Series Convertibles. Whether potential buyers are ready to flip their lids remains to be seen, however.

The new 2-Series cabriolet maintains the basic lines of the recently introduced 2-Series Coupe, even though the maker opted for a folding soft-top rather than the origami-style hardtop found on its midrange model.

The cabrio's roof can operate at up to 30 mph.

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The addition of a smaller model has a special significance for the Bavarian maker. BMW first introduced its 02 series back in 1966, and added a convertible version just a year later, turning to outside coachbuilder Baur to produce the early ragtops.

BMW claims the new model is a true four-seater, though the images suggest those in the back might squirm a little after a long drive. But there’s plenty of room up front, and the detailing of the interior is much more luxurious than we’ve seen from some competitive entry-lux models to come from Germany lately.

The top itself can be operated in just 20 seconds, tucking away in a tidy nook behind the back seats while maintaining a modest-sized trunk. The top can be operated at speeds up to 30 mph, BMW notes, adding that it features some welcome noise insulation to allow passengers to hold a conversation without screaming when the roof is up.

The 2-Series ragtop is really a 2+2.

The coupe shares the same powertrain options as the 2-Series Coupe, which means a 2.0-liter turbocharged four in the 228i making 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. Mated to an 8-speed automatic, it will launch you to 60 in 5.7 seconds.

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For those who might have to balance warm summers with snowy winters, there’s also the 228i xDrive. Surprisingly, the all-wheel-drive package actually trims the 0-to-60 time down by a tenth of a second.

We’ll have to wait until closer to launch next year for official EPA fuel economy numbers. But the maker is apparently hoping for some good numbers by introducing several fuel-saving features. That includes a coasting function which, it explains, “decouples the engine from the rest of the drivetrain when the accelerator is released at speeds between 50 and 160 km/h.” That’s about 30 to 100 mph for the metrically challenged.

BMW will offer a variety of powertrain options, including the 320-horsepower TwinPower M235i.

For those who want a bit more sportiness, there are several optional packages, including the Sport Line and M Sport editions, and a Track Handling Package offers an adaptive suspension.

BMW has not introduced a true M edition yet, instead coming oh-so-close with the M235i Coupe and, now, a convertible version. This package features the TwinPower turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that bumps performance up substantially. It makes 320-hp and 330 lb-ft and can hit 60 in just 4.8 seconds with an 8-speed automatic. Surprisingly, for some, a 6-speed stick is two-tenths of a second slower.

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The 2-Series Convertible will feature a number of electronic safety and infotainment systems. And it introduces a feature that motorists who opt for the Navi system should appreciate. Instead of having to worry about outdated maps – or spending a small fortune for regular updates – the Navi will now be able to automatically download revised maps whenever available, and without a driver’s intervention.

As noted the 228i starts at $38,850, the 228i xDrive bumping that to $40,650. The M235i, in turn, comes in at $48,650. Add another $950 for delivery charges. To add some perspective, those figures average out to about $5,000 more than the comparable coupe models.

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One Response to “BMW Offers First Look at New 2-Series Convertible”

  1. Dave says: