I test drove the BMW M240i xDrive Convertible. The small BMW convertible showed me why I liked BMWs so much, it sparked the fire in my heart for BMWs once again, and I am not going back, ever. I love BMW, and now, finally, I definitely know why. It is for me. I am sure, if you had to chance to drive the M240i through a few bends on the mountain roads of the Gorges du Verdon canyon in France, the M240i would grow in your heart as well.
It is sublime!
I can’t even imagine what kind of a beast the M2 is. I haven’t driven it yet, but I am eagerly waiting to do so.
BMW raised a few eyebrows when it debuted its front-wheel drive-biased 2-Series Active Tourer model, and people quickly called it “not a BMW,” it was a model which dilutes the brand, and just plain ugly. However, after spending a few days with the top-of-the-range plug-in hybrid version of the 2 AT, the 225xe iPerformance, its many qualities did start to shine through, in spite of my initial hesitation to like it.
And I did like it in the end, even if not for the usual reasons one traditionally appreciates a BMW. I found it very spacious to sit in, with surprisingly comfortable seats, I liked its excellent fit and finish, and even the one-box design started to grow on me.
The driving experience is also pretty good, but again, not very BMW-like. It drives like one of the larger models in the MINI lineup, and that’s no accident because they all use a shared (modular) architecture.
My tester was also made even more likable thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain which works very smoothly and seamlessly, allowing it to change its character from silent side street cruiser to a hissing, turbocharged all-wheel-drive people carrier with hot hatch performance.
Photography by Andrei Nedelea
I Drove 1,780 Horsepower Worth Of Cars In France On Possibly The Best Tires On Earth
Continental AG invited me to spend three days in Nice, France, drive really nice cars, experience its #blackchili driving experience and gorge on vine and fish of all kinds prepared by some of the best chefs around.
I said yes.
This is what I saw, drove and experienced there.
1,780 horsepower worth of cars were parked down the alley of a hotel with a golf course. All of them were white, all of them had OEM Continental tires on them. UUHP tires, mind you. That is short for Ultra Ultra High Performance and all of them had striking, yet subtle Continental decals. Right from the get-go, it was clear this wasn’t going to be a classic journalist driving event. It was more of a celebration and a party. I liked it.
The weather was at nice 78 degrees Fahrenheit, without a single cloud on the perfectly blue sky over the Cote d’Azur. Down at that parking - 10 cars - two Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabrios, two BMW M240i xDrive Convertibles, two Porsche 718 Boxsters, two Tesla Model Ss, and two Audi RS3 Sportbacks.
FYI, the Porsche was the least powerful one there. And when the Porsche is the least powerful at a car event, things are off to a good start.
The Best Cars Under $35,000
For a lot of us, buying a car comes with a lot of anxiety, especially when it comes to models that are going to cost a lot of money. But there are some models in the market that provide us with what we want out of a vehicle at costs that aren’t going to burn holes in our pockets. These models can either be attractive, have posh interiors, provide ample amounts of power, or are just fun to drive. In some cases, some cars check off more than just one criteria, though all of them have one common factor among them. They all cost at or less than $35,000.
2017 BMW M240i Convertible
The 2 Series has been around since 2014, replacing the 1 Series coupe and convertible here in the U.S. After just a few short years on the market, a facelift should be coming for the 2017 model year. At first, we only had speculation derived from a leak on Bimmerpost.com, but now BMW has spilled a few of the beans, telling us a little about the upcoming facelift. We still don’t know any details regarding what the facelift brings in terms of aesthetic qualities, but we do know that the facelifted 2 Series will get an upgrade in the power department, so it certainly has that going for it.
For now, the best we can do is guess on what other changes are coming to the 2 Series. We know that the M235i will now be the M240i, and we’re expecting to see some new infotainment technology and a slightly revised exterior. Until Bimmer spills the rest of the beans on the M240i, let’s go ahead and talk about the upgrade in power and other changes. According to BMW’s most recent press releases, the M240i should break cover in July, so let’s get to speculating before BMW pulls the sheet of the facelifted M240i convertible.
Update 6/24/2016: BMW has announced pricing information for the M240i convertible. Check the prices section below for details.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M240i Convertible.
2017 BMW M240i
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.
BMW gave us a bit of a shock with the 2014 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. At first there was fear that the model would compromise the Identity of the BMW name. Aside from the fact that it is a lower-cost vehicle, it is also front-wheel drive, which skews away from traditional BMW engineering. To some, the front end says, “yes, I am a BMW,” but the rest of the vehicle – including the drivetrain – just didn’t quite fit what some expect from a Bimmer.
Now that the 2 Series has established itself in the market, BMW has decided to add a plug-in hybrid variant of the Active Tourer model. The new model will use the same 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine from the base-model 2 Series, but it will also have an electric motor in the rear. This design means the hybrid version will have front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive (when running on the electric motor only.) Even though the 2 Series fell outside of the normal BMW mold, BMW still managed to supply a vehicle that meets the desires of consumers. The new 225XE hybrid will have a lot of the same features of the non-hybrid version, but will be different in its own way. The 225XE should debut along with the new 330E plug-in hybrid at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week.
Read on to see my review of the new 225XE.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 225xe Plug-in Hybrid.
Of all the new cars and SUVs BMW has launched recently, nothing has generated as much attention as the impending introduction of the 2016 BMW M2. It’s no secret that BMW is working on a hardcore version of the 2 Series to succeed the much-loved 2012 BMW 1 Series M Coupe, and BMW isn’t doing much to hide it. Quite the opposite, in fact.
With an official introduction expected later this year, a prototype for the 2016 BMW M2 was spotted recently being completely flogged around the Nürburgring. Combining the best attributes from the already-exciting 2014 BMW M235i Coupe and the track-scorching 2015 BMW M4, the M2 has no problem negotiating the famed track. Between the screeching tires and the throaty exhaust, the sounds emanating from this car are enough to get any enthusiast’s blood pumping.
There’s still no official word on the M2’s spec sheet, but the expected output should be somewhere in the 365-horsepower range from the twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six. The prototype shown in this video is obviously wearing a more aggressive front fascia, wider tires and a quad exhaust outlet, although it’s not clear if the M2 will be getting any carbon-fiber body panels for additional weight savings. What is completely clear, though, is that this sporty coupe turns on a dime with little fuss.
If driving the 2016 BMW M2 is half as fun as watching the professionals tear it up around the ‘Ring, then get ready for one incredible car.
Take a look at the original E30 M3 next to the current M3 and M4 twins, and one thing is apparent: the current M cars are huge. The bigger the M3 got over the years, the bigger the gap grew for a smaller (and cheaper) M car in BMW’s portfolio. The fantastic 1 Series M Coupe rectified this to some extent, but it was built in such small numbers that it was nearly impossible to get your hands on one. Even today they’re selling for well over MSRP.
But relief is on the way in the form of the 2 Series-based M2, seen here putting in some hot laps on the Nürburgring. From the looks of these test mules, BMW appears to be in the final stages of M2 development. The psychedelic camouflage hides wider front fenders, similar to the ones seen on the M235i race car, and stylized M-specific front and rear fascias. Of course, there’s also the requisite quad exhaust exits.
Expect to see a detuned version of the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight six from the M3/M4 producing around 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque.The regular 2 Series is actually pretty heavy for its size, so expect the M2 to be put on a diet of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body panels and aluminum chassis components. That, combined with a short wheelbase, should translate to some agile handling characteristics too. Look for the M2 to be unveiled later in 2015 and to hit showrooms in 2016.
We’re really looking forward to this one.
While our 10 Best Cars of 2014 article was written to focus on the most newsworthy cars launched in the past year from a positive point of view, we figured that the circle could only be complete if we also take a look at some of the not-so-good vehicles that became part of our world in 2014. Obviously, the presence of some cars on the following list will probably anger a good amount of keyboard warriors and/or diehard fans out there, but that usually goes with the territory and you can’t please every reader every time.
As most of you know, no matter how much soul and poetry a carmaker exudes for some people, the automotive industry is just that, an industry. Industries, like every other business, are here to make money, because otherwise they would simply cease to exist sooner or later. Since marketing is a pretty big part of almost every business’ success, a lot of carmakers rely on intangible details such as brand or model image to sell their products, especially when talking about niche cars.
That is exactly where a lot of them go wrong sometimes, when newly-introduced cars don’t necessarily tick all the right boxes, or at least the minimum required in their brand DNA. From some points of view, this results in a bad car, while from others it simply means that one or more entities that helped to develop said car didn’t do a very good job at some point. Either way, the following list is in no way a professionally-made or objective one and each of the cars on it may very well become a best-seller and a huge success in the future.
With that being said, click past the jump to read more about the 10 Worst Cars Of 2014.
BMW has already begun revitalizing its lineup with the future 3 Series Coupe and Convertible getting tagged under the 4 Series line. This treatment is also spilling over to the 1 Series, as the three- and five-door models will remain under the 1 Series name, but starting in 2014, the coupe and convertible models become the new 2 Series lineup.
When compared to the 1 Series Coupe — the model it replaces — the new 2 Series Coupe is larger, giving increased interior room for the front and rear passengers. Additionally, the U.S.-spec 2 Series loses the six-cylinder engine used in the 1 Series Coupe and makes use of a new four-cylinder engine that is more powerful and easier on fuel.
BMW will display the new 2 Series Coupe at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, but it has revealed most of the information ahead of its public showing.
It will hit showrooms in the first quarter of 2014 at a base price of $33,025. Upon initial release, there will only be two variants available in the U.S.: 228i and M235i. You can see the full review for the high-performance, 2014 BMW M235i here.
Updated 12/16/2013: The BMW 2 Series’ ordering guide has leaked onto the Internet, showing all of the intricate pricing details, including a $500 premium for metallic paints, a $1,450 premium for Dakota leather and all of the optional packages. You can see the guide, after the jump.
Updated 05/30/2014: A leaked ordering guide document revealed prices for the 2015 2 Series. As expected things will remain pretty much unchanged, with the RWD 228i and M235i being priced from $32,100 and $43,100 respectively. AWD option will add another $1,800. New for 2015 model year is the Track Package priced at $2,200. (carscoops)
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Coupe.
By the end of the decade, BMW hopes to have about one million FWD BMW and Mini models produced per year. These latest spy shots show the German automaker’s next step towards that goal with the new FAST (Family Activity Sports Tourer), which joins the CAT (Compact Activity Tourer) and the JOY (Compact Sports Commuter Concept). The new BMW FAST will be put on sale in late 2015, but expect a concept version to debut sometime in 2014.
The BMW FAST is the first BMW with front wheel drive and paves the way to a new era of BMW vehicles. It will be built on BMW’s new UKL1 platform which is being shared with all future mini BMW and Mini models, and will be offered in both front wheel drive and wheel drive versions.
Power for BMW’s new FWD city car will come from a line of both N38 petrol and N37 diesel engines small enough to fit under that short hood. This would be a 1.5L engine that will produce a range of 75 HP - 155 HP. The top of the line model will feature an inline-six cylinder engine with about 326 HP. A three-cylinder engine will also be offered.