When I first read the press release for this new generation of BMW M240i, I was actually sort of surprised with how heavy-handed BMW was with its implication that the new 2er was a spiritual successor to the iconic BMW 2002. It mentioned, several times, that this new 2 Series was heavily inspired by the original 2002, even suggesting that the single-halo headlight design was to honor the classic ’60s two-door sedan.
Unfortunately for the 2 Series, BMW’s initial implications set sky high expectations that I was nervous the M240i wouldn’t be able to meet. So you can imagine my eagerness, but also my apprehension, to drive it. I was excited but also a bit nervous, as I was expecting something good but hoping I wouldn’t be let down. After spending a week with it, and putting quite a few miles on it, I’ve come to understand the new BMW M240i and where it fits in the brand’s history. Is the new M240i a reincarnation of the BMW 2002? No. Am I let down, though? Also, no.
It Has the Look
The new BMW 2 Series is an odd looking car. From some angles, it looks fantastic; like a proper BMW sports coupe. From others, it’s awkward and lumpy. There are some really nice details and designs but also some head-scratching ones. I can’t decided if I actually like it or not, as I like some parts of it but not others, to almost an equal extent. I guess I’m indifferent. However, it does have many correct BMW design elements that make it a fitting addition to the 2002’s lineage.
Up front, its wide, mustachioed kidney grilles are a breath of fresh air. While they’re not the best looking kidney grilles of all time, compared to the front end of the BMW M4, they’re downright gorgeous. They’re also quite clever, as BMW replaced the traditional vertical slats with active aero shutters. Rather than placing the active shutters in between the slats, as per usual, BMW simply took the plastic vertical slats out, leaving only the active shutters to create the traditional look. So when the slats are closed, the grilles are flat panels. When open, they look like typical BMW grilles. Neat.