The 2 Series Convertible is up for a mild face lift

It’s been three years since BMW started rolling the 2 Series into dealer showrooms, effectively removing the coupe and cabrio body styles from the 1 Series lineup and giving those compacts a new name. Just recently we saw shots of a “facelifted” 2 Series coupe prototype heading out for some testing, and now we’re looking at the convertible version which, coincidentally, is wearing the same little bit of camo. As such, this so-called facelift isn’t bringing much in terms of change, but the car should get a new, smaller grille layout, slightly revised headlights, new graphics for the taillights out back, and maybe even a few changes inside as our photographers have reported that there was some covering over the dashboard. Word has it the engines that motivate the little cabrio that could even get an update, but you’ll want to take that with a grain of salt for now.

The updated 2 Series is expected to be revealed in late 2017 and go on sale for 2018 so there’s still a little while to wait before we get to see the few changes that come with the new model year. But, let’s take a closer look and see what’s going on with this prototype. There might be something interesting lurking in the finer details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible.

Exterior

2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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So, there’s no beating around the bush when it comes to BMW. Its refreshes are never anything to write home about, and that’s undoubtedly the case with the 2 Series as well. To start off, the kidney grilles will be downsized just a bit and feature more vertical louvers that are spaced closer together. As such, this will increase the space between the headlights and the grilles. BMW could opt to include thicker trim around the grilles to make up for the extra space. Flanking the grilles are a new pair of headlights. They maintain the same shape and size but will feature a different layout that includes two half-hexagonal LED strips that surround the headlight modules inside. The outer corners of the headlights are covered quite well, so the layout around the side markers could change a bit.

2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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Its refreshes are never anything to write home about, and that’s undoubtedly the case with the 2 Series as well.

Down below, the fascia will carry over all the same, save for one little change. Those corner vents that house the round foglights have been changed a little. The inner corners are no longer blocked off, and there are two horizontal louvers there instead of one in the center. Again, it’s not much, but the extra air flow could indicate the need for additional engine bay cooling, which points to the possibility of powertrain upgrades… fingers crossed.

As far as the side profile goes, there’s nothing to speak of, as BMW didn’t even see fit to replace the side view mirrors. But, there could be some new wheel offerings and likely a new paint option or two. Around back, there’s very little really going on in terms of change, but there will be new taillight units. Right now they are covered with decoy tap and some camo on the outside but expect to see new graphics and possible even clear lenses. If so, BMW will be careful not to go with too much of a Euro, aftermarket look, but it could be a nice addition to the vehicle if done right. Down below, the rear fascia has been reworked just a bit. The reflectors in the lower corners have been moved outward a bit and now extend around the corners of the fascia. The body lines down here have changed a bit while it looks like that little vent in the rear fascia of the current model will either be reshaped or nixed altogether.

Interior

2017 BMW 5 Series High Resolution Interior
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Note: 5 Series interior shown here.

Our photographers didn’t get any shots of the prototype’s interior but did say that the dash was covered up, which indicates that there is at least some change coming to the inside. Chances are this will be limited to an updated instrument cluster, but BMW may take things a little further and update the central vent layout.

Chances are this will be limited to an updated instrument cluster, but BMW may take things a little further and update the central vent layout.

It will also get the new infotainment software that we’ve recently seen in the new 5 Series that makes the system much more dynamic and easier to use. It will also get that awesome 3D navigation setup that displays your surroundings to scale in real time – it’s a pretty damn cool feature to have. Outside of this and potentially some new interior color options, there won’t be much else done to the inside as part of this refresh. It’s possible that the seats could get a new stitching layout of something of that nature, but that would be the extent of it.

Drivetrain

2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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When it comes to power output, the 2 Series isn’t that bad off for a car this size. The entry-level 230i and 230i xDrive comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque on tap. Shift duties are handled by an eight-cog automatic. A run to 60 mph will take you 5.6 seconds while you’ll top out, eventually, at 155 mph. The xDrive model with all-wheel drive offers up the same performance figures.

Moving up to the M240i will get you a 3.0-liter inline-six with 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It gets the same eight-speed automatic for the taking, but can also be had with a six-speed manual transmission. With the 3.0-liter, the 2 Series can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds with the automatic or 4.7 if you row your own, while top speed remains locked at 155 mph.

On the fuel economy front, the 2 Series can get as much as 23 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined in 230 form, or as much as 21 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined in M240i form with an automatic transmission. As usual, the manual transmission option and AWD affect fuel economy marginally, but nothing out of the ordinary.

As far as powertrain upgrades go, I’m not expecting to see any, but it wouldn’t be the first time that BMW has surprised me out of the blue. And, word around the campfire is that there could be some engine updates as part of this refresh. If so, that 2.0-liter could be massaged to deliver closer to 260 ponies while the 3.0-liter could bump out as much as 345 or 350 horsepower. Those equipped with the automatic transmission will likely get a software update to improve shift times and efficiency.

Prices

At this point in time, the current 2 Series starts out at $38,950 with RWD or $40,950 for the 230i in xDrive form. Moving up to the M240i will hit the bank for $49,050 while the xDrive form comes in $2,000 higher at $51,050. BMW doesn’t have a whole lot of room to play with pricing at this point, so don’t expect prices to increase by more than $500 across the board.

Competition

Audi A3 Convertible

2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Convertible High Resolution Exterior
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2017 - 2018 Audi A3 Convertible High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The Audi A3 Convertible is the 2 Series Convertible’s main competition, and it was just refreshed for the 2017 model year. The facelift brought about sharper exterior lines, which helps it remain the most aggressive offering in this selective niche, to go with some technology updates inside. IT does come with a rather sporty interior that includes a flat-bottom steering wheel, and comfortable, supportive seats. Under the hood, you’ll find a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 186 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque on tap. It’s well underpowered in comparison to the 2 Series – even in entry-level form – and takes 6.9 seconds to hit 60 mph. Top speed is set at 130 mph, while fuel economy comes in at 25 mph in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined. Pricing starts out at $37,600 for the Premium trim level, $40,850 for the Premium Plus, and $46,550 for the Prestige trim level. All trim levels can be had with Audi’s Quattro AWD system, so that’s a plus.

Read more about the Audi A3 Convertible here.

Conclusion

2018 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior Spyshots
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At this point, the BMW 2 Series is still relatively new, so it’s not that surprising to see such a mundane facelift underway. However, while this “refresh” will keep things rolling for a little while longer, look to see BMW introduce a new-gen model by the turn of the decade. Until then, the new light designs, revised grilles, and other little changes inside and out should help differentiate the post mid-cycle model from those that were introduced in 2014. Hopefully, BMW brings some powertrain updates to the party as well, as everyone wants a little more power, right? The updated 2 Series should break cover in the third or fourth quarter of 2017, but until then, what do you think of what you see so far? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Press release

The BMW 2 Series Coupe and BMW 2 Series Convertible have raised the bar in the premium compact class in terms of dynamic prowess, aesthetic appeal and emotional richness. Scheduled for launch in July 2017, the new models promise to build on this successful concept. They feature sharper front-end styling, LED headlights fitted as standard, further interior upgrades and new connectivity services. And they also offer unbeatable sports performance, courtesy of rear-wheel drive (unique in the segment) working in tandem with efficient power transfer systems. More than 140,000 units of the Leipzig-built models have been delivered to customers so far. The biggest markets are the USA, Great Britain and Germany.

With the changing of the guard from outgoing model to new generation comes a more eye-catching front end for the BMW 2 Series Coupe and BMW 2 Series Convertible. Both models are now fitted as standard with bi-LED headlights. The main headlights can also be specified in adaptive full-LED form as an option, their prominent light graphic strengthening the dynamic and technical impression created by the front end. The familiar twin-circular-headlight look has a hexagonal interpretation, inspiring an even more precise and modern appearance. A larger kidney grille gives the front end of the new models a wider look and allows it to project a sportier impression. The outer air intakes in the three-section front end are now larger and emphasise the cars’ powerful stance on the road. The rear end likewise cuts a muscular figure, the single-piece rear lights (LEDs as standard) with hallmark BMW L-shape extending well into the flanks.

The new BMW 2 Series, Hightlights (05/2017).

The interior of the new BMW 2 Series models features an all-new design for the instrument panel, which emphasises the focus on the driver even more clearly and significantly enhances the cockpit’s quality feel once again. The interior now has a more spacious, calmer and clearer feel. The elegant design is accentuated by a host of details, such as contrast stitching and high-gloss black surfacing for the centre stack and the chrome elements for the control panels in the doors. New cloth or leather seat upholstery variants, interior trim strips in aluminium or fine wood and high-gloss black panels with chrome accents provide even greater scope for individualisation.

New light-alloy wheels, new paint finishes, excellent practicality.

As well as the standard model, the Coupe and Convertible are available in Luxury Line, Sport Line and M Sport variants, and the line-up also includes a BMW M Performance representative – the BMW M240i/M240i xDrive. Mediterranean Blue, Seaside Blue and Sunset Orange have been added to the selection of exterior paint shades. And the choice of light-alloy wheels has also been expanded – to 17 designs in 16-, 17- and 18-inch formats.

At 4,432 millimetres in length, the BMW 2 Series Coupe and BMW 2 Series Convertible condense their sporting prowess into a compact package. And the four-seaters combine these dynamic talents with a high level of everyday practicality. The Coupe has a boot capacity of 390 litres, while the Convertible’s electrically operated fabric soft-top offers admirable acoustic comfort when closed thanks to additional insulation. Plus, it can be opened while on the move – at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31 mph).

Operating concept and connectivity.

The high-resolution 8.8-inch central display in the new BMW 2 Series Coupe and BMW 2 Series Convertible now comes in touchscreen form if the optional Navigation system Professional is specified. This provides the driver with another way of operating various functions, in addition to the latest generation of the iDrive operating system (standard), the Touch Controller and the intelligent voice control system.

The new-generation models present the option of powering compatible smartphones wirelessly by means of an inductive charging tray, and Apple CarPlay can be accessed via a BMW navigation system. Meanwhile, the in-car WiFi hotspot provides a high-speed mobile internet connection for up to ten devices.

The standard SIM card integrated into the car enables optimum connectivity and access to BMW services via BMW ConnectedDrive, without the need for a linked smartphone. These include Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) with hazard preview, On-Street Parking Information and access to the vehicle via Remote Services. The all-encompassing BMW Connected concept seamlessly integrates the BMW 2 Series into the user’s digital life. BMW is also the first carmaker to offer Microsoft Office 365 users a secure server connection for exchanging and editing emails, calendar entries and contact details, thanks to the car’s built-in Microsoft Exchange function.

The list of assistance systems customers can specify includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. The Driving Assistant is also available as an option and comprises the Lane Departure Warning system and City Collision Mitigation, which applies the brakes automatically at speeds up to 60 km/h (37 mph) in response to an imminent collision with a car, motorcycle or pedestrian.

A meeting of dynamic excellence and remarkable efficiency.

An extensive line-up of three-, four- and six-cylinder engines is available for the BMW 2 Series Coupe and BMW 2 Series Convertible, producing outputs from 100 kW/136 hp to 250 kW/340 hp (fuel consumption combined: 8.3 – 3.8 l/100 km [34.0 – 74.3 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 189 – 101 g/km)*. All the petrol and diesel engines are from the latest BMW EfficientDynamics engine family and feature BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. In addition to a basic concept that is inherently more efficient, all the diesel engines feature new turbocharger technology and enhanced common-rail direct injection systems. There are nine drive options to choose from for the BMW 2 Series Coupe and eight for the BMW 2 Series Convertible. The various model variants channel their power through either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. The efficient automatic comes as standard in the 220i, 230i, 225d and M240i xDrive Coupe models and 225d and M240i xDrive Convertible. The 225d and M240i xDrive variants of both the Coupe and Convertible link up as standard with the eight-speed Steptronic Sport version of the automatic, which offers a steering wheel-mounted manual shift function.

The BMW M240i/M240i xDrive are the M Performance representatives of the Coupe and Convertible line-ups. Their three-litre straight-six engine with direct injection and M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology develops 250 kW/340 hp, propelling the BMW M240i xDrive Coupe, for instance, from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds (fuel consumption combined: 7.4 l/100 km [38.2 mpg imp], CO2 emissions combined: 169 g/km)*.

BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive.

The M240i and 220d variants of the BMW 2 Series Coupe can be ordered either with the particularly engaging characteristics of rear-wheel drive or BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. BMW 2 Series Convertible customers can specify xDrive for the M240i. The xDrive concept ensures optimum power transfer, enhances driving safety and reduces understeer and oversteer through corners. Sophisticated suspension technology, a low centre of gravity, a wide track and almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution all play their part in the BMW 2 Series’ outstanding dynamics and handling properties.

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