Since this new 2 Series arrived, it’s been called the spiritual successor to both the original BMW 2002 and the E30 3 Series. In a lot of ways, those are valid comparisons, as the 2 Series is a small, rear-wheel drive, often four-cylinder-powered BMW coupe that still prioritizes fun over comfort. However, can it actually be compared with the E30 M3, the homologated Touring Car for the road? That’s what Auto Express reckons in this new video.
In this new review, host Nicola Hume argues that the new 2 Series is the modern E30 M3, which itself is a bold statement. However, it gets even bolder, as the specific 2 Series she claims to resemble the E30 M3 is the entry-level model BMW 220i. Surely, that’s madness, right?
On paper, there are admittedly some similarities. For instance, the 220i also uses a four-cylinder engine and actually makes similar power to the original M3; 184 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, compared to the E30 M3’s 192 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque. The 220i is also rear-wheel drive, has two doors, and slightly flared wheel arches. Though, that’s sort of where the similarities end.
The BMW 220i uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, whereas the E30 M3 used a 2.3-liter naturally-aspired, race-bred engine. The new BMW 220i is also automatic only, while the E30 M3 was manual only. It’s also feature-rich, packed with tech, and has a more usable back seat. Oh, and the 220i is also several hundred pounds heavier. So it’s not exactly an E30 M3 successor, spiritual or otherwise.
Obviously, the BMW 220i isn’t really a modern E30 M3 but it’s funny to sort of point at its similarities in layout and power. The 220i is also about $100,000 cheaper than what a nice E30 M3 costs, so it might not be as exciting but it’s a helluva lot cheaper.