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22 Apr 2022

What We Dislike
No RWD option as yet
A little on the heavy side
Might get a little lost amidst BMW's performance models

The new BMW M240i stands out for its macho looks and undeniable attitude, and is a cracker of a small sports coupe.


Thundernight sounds like the name of a character out of an 80s action movie, not unlike Max Rockatansky or Snake Plissken. Imagine a bright, neon poster with 'Thundernight!' stretched across it in bold italic print. Probably would be a real hoot. 80s action movies were a real laugh - shading on the limits of reasonable reality, but plenty of fun to be had.

Thundernight Metallic is also the name of this purplish hue that you'll find on the new BMW 2 Series Coupe M240i, a car that perhaps also sees itself as an 80s action hero. In 2022. Oof.

What??

With its broad proportions and squat frame, the M240i has fantastic road presence
This is the M240i, the top-of-the-range model in the new 2 Series Coupe lineup. It's not an M2 (at least not yet), but right now it's the fastest small car that BMW makes.

It certainly looks the part, that's for the sure. The styling is a little on the busy side, but it works. It's sharp and angular in all the right places, the massive power dome on the bonnet shading on being over-the-top, and there's a real sense of heft and sportiness to the way the car looks.

I will admit the rear is a tad underwhelming - the quadrilateral top portion of the diffuser juts too far upwards, and the taillights should probably stretch longer inwards towards the number plate.

The front grille can open or close, depending on the engine's cooling needs
The cabin is a familiar BMW space, albeit with a few splashes of oddball vibrance. The 10.25-inch touchsreen runs the familiar Operating System 7, which is intuitive and a cinch to use. The centre console design is neat, and overall there's a high level of polish about the interior.

As a means of differentiating this sportier model, there's some M-coloured graphics on either door, as well as some patterning on the door panels. I can't say I'm a fan of those, but they don't hurt the overall look and feel of the car.

So it's a real sports car, then?

The tight chassis, broad tracks and xDrive combine to give you unflappable confidence to tackle corners aggressively
While it's pegged as a small, compact coupe, the new 2 Series Coupe is actually less compact than you'd imagine. This car actually sits on a chopped up version of the platform used on the larger 3 and 4 Series models, and is thus longer and wider than before. Heavier, too, to the tune of a slightly overweight 1,690kg.

It shows on the road. It doesn't feel quite as snappy and sharp, and because it is an all-wheel drive car the front-end doesn't feel as alert.

The upside is that there's a much greater sense of stability across most driving situations, especially over poorer tarmac. The car feels more planted, shedding some of the potential nervousness of before. And, of course, there's ample amounts of traction, allowing you attack corners hard and power out early.

The 3.0-litre engine pumps out a creamy 369bhp and 500Nm of torque
This is a very capable performance car, and I think in real world circumstances it's as fast as most other performance cars out there (even those with more power). The 369bhp and 500Nm of torque from the 3.0-litre engine is ample, and the stiffer chassis and wider tracks means that it's almost frightfully easy to drive this car quickly.

So, yes, this is a real sports car. It might not be a full M car, but it has all the driving dynamics you expect from a performance BMW. It sounds the part, too! And when you do drive it gently, it settles down quite nicely. The ride is quite firm, but beyond that it's a very liveable day-to-day car, assuming you don't need to fetch a family around all the time. 

The sports seats are comfortable, yet still offer plenty of lateral support
This actually creates a potential challenge for BMW's full-fledged M models like the M3 and especially the similarly two-door M4. Yes, they have more raw performance and name-cred, but unless you have a racetrack to go drifting on or can drive on the limit, I wonder if this M240i slightly undercuts those models. After all, in real world driving where speed limits are an actual thing, it's effectively as fast, as dynamically capable, while being a fair bit cheaper.

Attitude over aptitude?

Judged in isolation, the M240i is a fun little car - exuberant, exciting, and decidedly capable. However, when you consider the larger context within the BMW lineup, things get slightly hazy. The M240i is notably less singular. It's got comparable performance and dynamic behaviour to its bigger brothers, and as a result doesn't stand out as much. It could have been this totally out there model, but I guess that's room that's being left for the upcoming M2.

The M240i is a car that's dripping in machismo attitude, capable of delightful fun whenever you want 
But, relevant M-ness aside, the M240i is undeniably delightful. It's got personality and character, and a real sense of attitude. In 2022, the automotive world is all in on SUVs, electrification and futuristic driving technologies. Making a small two-door coupe powered by a large capacity engine seems to fly in the face of reason.

And yet, that's exactly what this car does, to a fantastic effect. It's a car that recognises that, yes, it's not particularly practical, perhaps not very sensible, but damn if it's not a ton of fun and a real laugh. It carries itself with an unflappable cool machismo - perhaps more bluster than substance at times but, really, it's about the attitude of it all.

It's an 80s action hero, in 2022. Attitude all the way.


Need a small and fast coupe in your life? Here are some other options to consider: 

The new CLA45 S brings a new level of power and performance to the compact class

The Audi S3 Sedan offers both everyday comfort and exhilarating performance in a discreet body

The Toyota Supra sets itself apart with its gorgeous sheet metal and sharp driving dynamics

Car Information

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BMW M Series M240i Coupe 3.0 xDrive (A)
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Price

: $349,888

Engine Type

:

6-cylinder in-line TwinPower Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

2998cc

Horsepower

:

275kW (369 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

500 Nm / 5000 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Steptronic Sport

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

4.3sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

11.2km/L

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Tags :  

bmw  bmw m  m240  m240i  bmw m240i  2 series  2 series coupe  m2  m  m performance