The newest performance car to come from BMW isn’t actually an M car, it’s an M Performance car — which is sort of the Diet M line of cars from BMW — the BMW M240i. It’s the most powerful iteration of the new 2 Series Coupe for now, until the proper M2 debuts, and it’s a car that’s getting surprising amount of love from enthusiasts and journalists alike. Why is that surprising? Because the last M240i (and its pre-LCI M235i version) wasn’t quite as beloved.
However, just knowing that it’s been getting some praise isn’t enough. There are quite a few interesting things about the new BMW M240i that should draw interest from enthusiasts and potential customers. So let’s take a look at the top five most important things to know about the new M24oi.
The Grille Stays Small
“Small” is a bit of a relative term with BMW nowadays but the new BMW M240i grille is quite small by modern BMW standards. More importantly, it’s a good looking grille, one that’s wider than it is tall. BMW had a bit of a run with uber-tall grilles recently and they just don’t seem to sit well with fans. The new 2 Series’ grille in general is wide, short, and handsome, giving it a much more traditional BMW face. It also proves that BMW doesn’t need monster grilles to have an expressive front end.
One of the Best BMW Engines — B58
BMW’s B58 engine — a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six — is one of the very best engines BMW’s ever made. If you take a look at some of the engines BMW’s built in the past, you’ll realize just how big of a statement that is. Not only that, it’s one of the very best six-cylinder engines on the planet. In the BMW M240i, it makes 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, which helps it get from 0-60 mph in around four seconds. It’s also silky smooth, makes a great noise, and is a joy to use under any circumstance.
Those expecting any sort of drastic departure from BMW’s corporate interior design language will be disappointed. The cabin of the BMW M240i is nearly identical to the one you’ll find in the 3 Series and 4 Series, or really any modern BMW for that matter. While that might not be exciting — and it isn’t’ — it does allow the M240i to have excellent tech and build quality. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find any cabin with better tech and build quality at its price point. Just don’t expect anything too flashy.
No More Manuals — Eight-Speed Only
Sadly, BMW killed off the manual in the M240i. Don’t blame BMW too much, though, as no one really bought the last-gen 2 Series with a row-your-own ‘box. Instead, the BMW M240i only gets an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic. The upside is that the ZF8 is a brilliant gearbox, one whose calibration BMW has perfected, especially with the B58 engine. While upshifts aren’t dual-clutch quick, they’re close and always silky smooth. It’s also excellent as an automatic, be it during comfy daily driving or sporty performance driving.
One of the very best aspects of the new BMW M240i is that it comes in BMW’s coolest color in years — Thundernight Metallic. It’s a fantastic shade of metallic purple and it makes the M240i look so special. I’ve said it for years but special colors make car ownership so much better. In America, we seem to live in a see of monochromatic car colors — everything is either black, grey, or white — so seeing BMW offer such a unique and exciting color makes us all very happy.
For around $50,000, the BMW M240i offers an incredible blend of power, performance, usability, and practicality, all packed into a fun and stylish two-door coupe. It might not be as sharp as a Cayman, nor as usable as an Audi RS3, but it’s a combination that’s genuinely hard to beat.