These images might look like spy shots, but in reality they’re just the latest release of information and photos from BMW to generate interest in the upcoming 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe. Mission accomplished; the fact that the top-flight M240i xDrive will pump out 382 horsepower is a big deal. That’s no incremental improvement over the current M240i, it’s a full 47-hp increase. (No torque figure is available so we’ll have to wait to see if there is a corresponding bump in twist, but it seems likely.)
We know from an earlier leak that the 2 Series Coupe will not adopt the extremely polarizing grille shared by many newer BMW models, including the X7 and the two-door 4 Series. Instead, the new styling brings it more in line with the (entirely separate) front-drive-based 2 Series Gran Coupe. Whatever you think of that move, or the resulting maw on the Coupe, it could be worse.
In more good news for enthusiasts of traditional front-engine sports cars, there will be proper rear-drive variants. BMW will launch the rear-drive 230i alongside the M240i xDrive, and later on the 230i xDrive and the rear-drive M240i will show up.
BMW promises near-50:50 weight distribution, and the M240i versions will sport a traditional inline-six (the aforementioned 382-hp version included). The dynamics have been honed on the Nurburgring Nordschleife—so completely unsurprising you likely would have assumed it to be so if we hadn’t told you. The aero tuning is claimed to reduce front-end lift on the sportier M240i models by half, while torsional rigidity for all 2-Series Coupes increases about 12 percent. Revised suspension hardware, calibration, and various bushings should increase accuracy and feel.
It’s an open question as to whether a manual transmission will make a return in this model; the only transmission details involve the standard eight-speed automatic on the M240i versions. The previous M240i was available with both that gearbox and a stick shift, but the way things are going it may be that the shift-it-yourself option becomes exclusive to the M2 that we assume is coming (although there’s no official word of yet).
New 2 Series production will start this summer, but we don’t have pricing or U.S. on-sale information quite yet.