Keeping it fresh in all the right places

For the moment, anyone who climbs the BMW 2 Series model ladder will eventually reach the M235i Coupe. Essentially the penultimate step before the top dog M2, the M235i offers copious sporting cues and performance-oriented hardware, but doesn’t bash the sensibilities (or bank account) quite like its hardcore sibling. Now at the halfway mark in its lifecycle, the compact is due for a refresh for the 2017 model year, which means an updated engine, and consequently, a new name – M240i. So far, official details from the Bavarians are limited, but given what we’re hearing from the rumor mill, you should also expect to see new equipment for the headlights and the cabin.

By all accounts, the M240i is exactly what we need from Bimmer, with more ponies, lower fuel consumption, quicker acceleration, and presumably, the latest gadgetry. Further details will drop this summer, but for now, read on for what we’ve learned so far.

Updated 03/23/2016: BMW announced prices for its latest M240i Coupe. Check the prices section to see how much you will have to pay for both the standard and the xDrive versions.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 BMW M240i.

  • 2017 BMW M240i
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-6
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    335
  • Torque @ RPM:
    369
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    45145
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.3/10

Exterior

2017 BMW M240i
- image 676372
2017 BMW M240i
- image 676373

When it comes to styling, the M240i looks identical to its M235i predecessor. Or at least it does from the front, and although we have yet to see an official shot of the rear, it’s unlikely BMW will change the tail without also updating the front fascia.

When it comes to styling, the M240i looks identical to its M235i predecessor.

The kidney grille is joined by three lower intakes (sans fog lights), with a long, muscular hoodline that draws the eyes towards the back. The flanks show a defined shoulder line and flared lower side skirts, which pull into a taut rear end. Mirror caps come finished with Ferric Grey metallic paint. The tail is neatly rounded, with a subtle lip spoiler attached to the trailing edge of the trunk, plus there is a flat-black lower insert that houses dual polished exhaust tips. In the corners are standard 18-inch alloy wheels from M, with an exclusive double-spoke design.

Rumor has it the M240i will get BMW’s new organic LED (OLED) headlights, which would greatly enhance the car’s cutting-edge appearance. If it doesn’t get OLEDs, expect the usual Xenon units, complete with adaptive technology, auto-leveling, “Corona” rings, and LED accents. Options will include plenty of carbon fiber replacement parts, including a new rear spoiler, mirror caps, and exhaust tips.

Interior

2014 BMW M235i Coupe High Resolution Interior
- image 530150

Note: BMW M235i pictured here.

In terms of look and layout, nothing should really change inside the cabin. The driver-centric design will feature a three-poke, M-branded multifunction steering wheel wrapped in leather, as well as a brushed-metal dead pedal. Sport pedals will be a factory option. More brushed metal will be used for the trim elsewhere, while wood and carbon fiber will also be available. A standup infotainment screen will adorn the top of the dash, and the seats will have decently sized lateral bolsters. Seat upholstery will be cloth and Alcantara with contrast stitching, while additional upholstery colors will be offered in either black, brown, white, or red.

As for refinement, the M240i offers new acoustic shielding in the engine compartment, effectively lowering noise levels in the cabin.

While not yet confirmed, it’s expected that the biggest upgrades for the cabin will be the infotainment technology. To begin, the M240i will probably offer a Wi-Fi hotspot, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, plus inductive mobile device charging.

While not revolutionary, these new features will go a long way in bringing the M-influenced 2 Series up to spec.

Drivetrain

2014 BMW M235i Coupe High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 530109

Note: BMW M235i pictured here.

Here’s where it gets good. The M235i is powered by a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine with direct injection and variable valve lift. Also known as the N55, this powerplant has been in use since 2009, and is known for its smoothness and considerable output. In the M235i, it creates 320 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 332 pound-feet of torque at 1,300 rpm. That’s good enough to propel the Coupe variant to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds (4.4 seconds if equipped with AWD).

As before, the penultimate 2 Series is equipped with RWD as standard, and AWD as an available option.

The N55 has had a great run, but it’s time for something new – specifically, the B58. While technically still a boosted 3.0-liter straight-six, the B58 gets a few extra cc’s and a slightly larger turbocharger compared to the N55, plus the same fuel and valve magic as its predecessor.

Long story short, the M240i has 15 more horsepower than the M235i, up to 335 horsepower total. Torque is even more impressive, up to 369 pound-feet total, an increase of 39 pound-feet. Peak power hits at 5,500 rpm, while peak torque is between 1,520 rpm and 4,500 rpm.

If those numbers look familiar, it’s because they are the same output levels as the venerable 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe. And to me, that makes the M240i Coupe a bit too close to the M2 in terms of performance (more on that in the Conclusion).

As before, the penultimate 2 Series is equipped with RWD as standard, and BMW xDrive (AWD) as an available option.

In the 0-to-60 mph sprint, the M240i beats the M235i by two-tenths of a second, no matter the configuration.

An eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is also standard equipment, offering wider gears for greater efficiency, launch control for quicker sixty-foot times, and predictive shifting for optimal shift timing. Thankfully, fans of three pedals can opt for a six-speed manual with rev-matching technology at no cost on RWD models.

Now here’s the important part – in the 0-to-60 mph sprint, the M240i beats the M235i by two-tenths of a second, no matter the configuration. That means 4.6 seconds with a manual, 4.4 seconds with an automatic, and 4.2 seconds with AWD.

While offering greater thrust, the M240i is also more economical. In addition to updates to the Valvetronic fully variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing, there’s also the usual auto start/stop feature and brake energy regeneration. Lay off the loud pedal, and fuel economy should improve by as much as 7 percent compared to the M235i.

Chassis And Handling

Securing BMW’s promise of fun behind the wheel is the traditional lineup of handling upgrades. The standard spec includes M Sport brakes, variable sports steering, and adaptive M suspension. New for 2017, the ride height was dropped by 10 mm (0.4 inches).

Making it stick are Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

Prices

The M240i Coupe is priced from $45,145 in the U.S. For this amount, you’ll take home the rear-wheel drive model. To upgrade to the xDrive version, you’ll need to add another $2,000, for a starting price of $47,145. For reference, the M240i is $995 more expensive than the M235i it replaces.

BMW M240i Coupe $45,145
BMW M240i xDrive Coupe $47,145

Competition

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45

2017 Mercedes-AMG CLA45
- image 669799

This entry-level Benz gets all the bells and whistles as the rest of the stable, but in a more compact package. It’s also the quickest option here, besting the Bimmer with 375 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. In fact, it takes the Bavarian’s M2 to keep pace, even though the Merc starts under $50,000.

Read the full review here.

Audi S3 Sedan

The four-ring brand just dropped details on the refreshed S3 sedan, and as in years past, it’s the more mature option when looking for small, luxurious German performance. Under the hood is an extra 10 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque for the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with 310 ponies and 295 pound-feet now available with a dab of the right foot. Routed through the standard quattro AWD system, a sprint from 0-to-60 mph takes roughly 4.7 seconds.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2014 BMW M235i Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 530106

Note: BMW M235i pictured here.

As before, six cylinders, RWD, and a true-blue manual transmission are what set this thing apart. The new gadgets and interior tech will be nice, but at the end of the day, most folks will undoubtedly prioritize the extra output when comparing the Bimmer to its rivals.

But that puts the top of the 2 Series lineup in a funny position. With this new level of output, the M240i looks like it might undercut the M2. Why drop nearly $52,000 when you can get more or less the same levels of performance from the M240i?

Naturally, I can think of only one justification – BMW is cooking up a similar power boost for the range-topper. And that, my friends, is a very good thing indeed.

  • Leave it
    • Might be a little too expensive for its own good
    • Might eat into M2 territory
    • Nothing official yet

Press Release

The passing of the baton from one generation of engines to the next in July 2016 will enable the BMW M Performance Automobiles in the BMW 1 Series and BMW 2 Series model ranges to showcase their stellar sporting character with even greater élan. The new six-cylinder in-line petrol engine in question – which develops 250 kW/340 hp, a 10 kW/14 hp increase in maximum output over its predecessor – not only optimises the sprinting power of the two cars, it also lowers their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The 3.0-litre unit with further developed M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology is a product of the BMW Group’s latest engine generation. The advances in dynamics and efficiency that come as part of the package are also expressed by the new model designations for the BMW M140i 3-door (fuel consumption combined: 7.8 l/100 km [36.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 179 g/km), BMW M140i 5-door (fuel consumption combined: 7.8 l/100 km [36.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 179 g/km), BMW M240i Coupe (fuel consumption combined: 7.8 l/100 km [36.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 179 g/km) and BMW M240i Convertible (fuel consumption combined: 8.3 l/100 km [34.0 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 189 g/km).

This boost in power means the BMW M Performance members of the BMW 1 Series and BMW 2 Series model ranges now offer the same output levels as the BMW 1 Series M Coupe built between 2011 and 2012. They can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) up to 0.3 seconds quicker than their predecessors, and their fuel consumption and emissions (as calculated in the EU test cycle) are as much as 7 per cent lower. The BMW M140i 3-door, BMW M140i 5-door, BMW M240i Coupe and BMW M240i Convertible are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while the latest version of the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission is available as an option. And as an alternative to sending their power to the rear wheels, all four models can also be ordered with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive.

Setting the benchmark for power delivery, efficiency and refinement: the new six-cylinder in-line petrol engine with M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology.

The engine developed for this quartet of compact power merchants stands out from the crowd with its instantaneous responses, high-revving ebullience and exemplary efficiency. Its dynamic power delivery is accompanied by a beautifully intense take on the emotionally rich engine sound characteristic of a BMW straight-six. The new unit has an aluminium crankcase and cylinder head, and the refinement that is likewise a hallmark of BMW six-cylinder in-line engines has been elevated to another level still thanks to new, near-source acoustic shielding. The TwinScroll turbocharger integrated into the cast-steel exhaust manifold is extremely efficient – on account of its compact construction and the presence of an indirect intercooler. Helping to minimise emissions, meanwhile, are electric wastegate control and the close-coupled arrangement of the catalytic converter.

The latest generation of VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control provides particularly precise load control, enhancing the engine’s responsiveness and efficiency. And rounding off the latest update of M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology is Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing on both the intake and exhaust sides. Also doing their bit to seal the exceptionally fine balance between driving pleasure and fuel consumption for this output class are a coolant pump that operates only as necessary, a map-controlled oil pump, Electric Power Steering, the Auto Start Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration and various other solutions developed under the banner of BMW EfficientDynamics.

A key element in the new engine’s ability to serve up thrillingly dynamic acceleration is the pulling power that comes on tap early and is maintained over a wide rev range. The new unit lays on peak torque of 500 Newton metres (369 lb-ft) between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm and generates maximum output of 250 kW/340 hp at 5,500 rpm.

Six-speed manual gearbox with throttle b lipping function, eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with wider gear spread.

Technical innovations designed to enhance driving pleasure and optimise efficiency are also at work in the transfer of engine power to the driven wheels. The standard six-speed manual gearbox fitted in the compact BMW M Performance Automobiles offers an engagement speed control function to deliver exceptionally smooth gear changes. On downshifts, the transmission management increases shift comfort by initiating a throttle blipping function; as the driver shifts into a lower gear, this increases the engine’s revs to the ideal level for the target gear.

The latest-generation six-cylinder in-line engine can be combined with the likewise new version of the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission as an option. With its wider gear spread and further improved internal efficiency, this automatic transmission – fitted as standard on the all-wheel-drive versions of the compact BMW M Performance Automobiles – makes an additional contribution to increasing efficiency. The option of carrying out multiple downshifts opens the door to more dynamic gearshifts and particularly swift responses to movements in the accelerator. Added to which, the cars’ driving comfort and acoustic appeal both benefit from the use of a rev-linked vibration damper. The eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission provides top-class shift dynamics and, in addition to the Launch Control function delivering traction-optimised acceleration off the line, also offers a predictive shift strategy. Here, the transmission management works in conjunction with the car’s navigation system to analyse the driving situation and route profile and, in so doing, determine the ideal moment for a gear change.

Enhanced dynamics, lower fuel consumption: acceleration improves by up to 0.3 seconds, fuel consumption drops by as much as 7 per cent.

The extra dynamic potency heralded by the further developed powertrain technology is reflected by significantly improved acceleration values. The BMW M140i 3-door and BMW M140i 5-door complete the dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds with the standard six-speed manual gearbox or 4.6 seconds with the optional eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. All of which means they reach 100 km/h (62 mph) 0.3 seconds sooner in both cases than their respective predecessors. An identical improvement can be seen with the BMW M140i xDrive 3-door and BMW M140i xDrive 5-door, which dispatch the same sprint in just 4.4 seconds. Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle comes in at 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres [36.2 mpg imp] for the BMW M140i 3-door and BMW M140i 5-door (automatic: 7.1 l/100 km [39.8 mpg imp]) and 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres [38.2 mpg imp] for the BMW M140i xDrive 3-door and BMW M140i xDrive 5-door. Which equates to a drop of between 3 and 5 per cent below the figures recorded by the outgoing models. CO2 emissions are now 179 grams per kilometre (automatic: 163 g/km) for the rear-wheel-drive models and 169 grams per kilometre where xDrive is involved.

The BMW M240i Coupe likewise powers from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds (automatic: 4.6 seconds) – or 4.4 seconds in all-wheel-drive guise. Those figures represent an improvement of 0.2 seconds in both cases. Fuel consumption and emissions in the EU test cycle are down by 4 to 7 per cent compared to their predecessors’ values. The BMW M240i Coupe now posts a figure of 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres [36.2 mpg imp] (179 g/km) with the manual gearbox or 7.1 litres per 100 kilometres [39.8 mpg imp] (163 g/km) when the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission is fitted. The BMW M240i xDrive Coupe is rated at 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres [38.2 mpg imp] (169 g/km).

Both variants of the open-top BMW M Performance Automobile race from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) 0.3 seconds faster than before. The acceleration figures now stand at 4.9 seconds (automatic: 4.7 seconds) for the BMW M240i Convertible and 4.6 seconds for the BMW M240i xDrive Convertible. Combined fuel consumption and emissions in the EU test cycle drop by 2 to 6 per cent – to 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres [34.0 mpg imp] (189 g/km) in conjunction with the six-speed-manual gearbox, 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres [38.2 mpg imp] (169 g/km) if the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission is fitted and 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres [36.2 mpg imp] (179 g/km) in the case of the BMW M240i xDrive Convertible.

Just like their further upgraded powertrain technology, the model-specific equipment compositions on board the compact BMW M Performance Automobiles are also geared to promoting a driving experience that fuels sporting ambitions. Standard specification includes M Sport suspension lowered by 10 millimetres, 18-inch M light-alloy wheels in exclusive double-spoke design, an M Sport braking system, Variable Sports Steering with Servotronic function, a model-specific M aerodynamic package and exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey metallic. Playing their part in the sporting interior ambience are the cloth/Alcantara sports seats with blue contrast stitching, the M leather steering wheel and an M driver’s footrest.

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