Get the scoop on BMW’s coupe

The second-gen M240i still feels fresh and relevant despite being a (two-door) coupe. This car still beats to its own drum. Contributed by Jimmy Dinsmore

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The second-gen M240i still feels fresh and relevant despite being a (two-door) coupe. This car still beats to its own drum. Contributed by Jimmy Dinsmore

Redesigned M240i still as fun as ever.

The year was 1973. Nixon was President. Vietnam was raging. And I was also born. Now the latter is far less significant than the other two things, obviously. I mention this because something else relevant to this week’s tester happened in 1973.

In my birth year, BMW introduced a 170-horsepower turbocharged 2-door BMW called the 2002. It was the first European car to feature turbocharging. Decades later, in the year 2014 BMW launched the first-generation 2-series coupe to pay homage to the BMW 2002 car from the early 1970s.

Fast forward to 2022, and I’m now 49 years old and BMW has launched the second-generation of the 2-series, which still includes a turbocharged rear-wheel drive-based sports coupes, including my tester this week the M240i XDrive.

This obscure bit of BMW history helps understand how this car has evolved through the years and how it still remains relevant in an era where coupes and cars are now passé. With all that history and heritage, the second-gen M240i still feels fresh and relevant despite being a (two-door) coupe. This car still beats to its own drum and does so with a redesigned exterior and improved performance.

Most noticeable is the redesigned grille, which has rankled some of the die-hard Beamer enthusiasts as the grille takes a different look than most people are used to seeing from BMW. The grille features vertically arranged air flaps instead of the classic bars. Truth be told the previous design, though a classic, had grown a little long in the tooth, so put me in the camp of liking the updated look. Change is good people. Plus the new circular full-LED headlights are both eye-catching, but a savvy Beamer enthusiast will notice the similarities to the older 2002 BMW models.

With the redesigned exterior comes an M240i that is now longer (by 3.5 inches), wider (by nearly 3 inches) and has a longer wheelbase (by 2 inches) than the previous model year.

As mentioned, the BMW M240i gets a new turbocharged power plant. The 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder has a TwinPower turbo engine that delivers 382 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is the quickest 2-series for BMW and represents a significant increase of 47 horsepower over the previous model year. It is peppy off the line and the eight-speed transmission shows no turbo lag. The x-Drive means it has all-wheel drive, but there is also a rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive version. Paddle shifters are available, and the M240i offers several driving modes including Dynamic which significantly changes this into a true sports car.

For lazier drives, there’s normal mode that still offers ample exhilaration in “normal”.

Inside, the M240i’s front seating area is comfortable and full of quality touch points. The back seat is rated for two people only and as a two-door coupe, getting in and out can be a challenge. Although the rear seat had just enough legroom for me, anyone over 6 feet in height might really struggle. The headroom was OK.

The trunk has only 10 cubic feet of cargo volume; but thanks to a cleverly designed 40/20/40 split-seat pass-through the cargo volume becomes much more useable.

As is the case with most German automakers, the infotainment system is overengineered. It’s chock full of technology and neat tricks and gimmicks, but as such, there’s a high learning curve for some of these tricks. Once you get them down they are cool, especially the infotainment gesture control. Where waving of your finger a certain way can pump up the volume on the 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Be careful, if you talk with your hands, you may accidentally engage this feature.

There’s also a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as a 10.25-inch touchscreen with just enough buttons to make some of the less intuitive features easier to overcome.

(Dear all automakers: Keep putting buttons and knobs on systems. Touchscreens are nice but unnecessary and less user-friendly.)

The fuel tank has a volume of 13.7 gallons and BMW recommends premium gas be used. The M240i with X-Drive has impressive fuel economy (for such a fast car). It has an EPA rating of 23 mpg/city and 32 mpg/highway. Any time a car can exceed 300 horsepower and 30 mpg — that’s a win in my book.

The top-of-the-line M240i trim has a starting price of $48,550. The 228i Gran Coupe (base trim) is far less expensive with a starting price of $35,700. Inflecting so much German engineering and luxury into such a small car is impressive.

Kudos to BMW for not abandoning cars, let alone coupes. While coupes have their nuisances (getting in and out of the back seat, plus wide opening doors), they are still a lot of fun to drive. And in the end, as the driver, the rest of the inconveniences are lost when you drive the M240i.

BMW still provides the “ultimate driving machine” in such a small package as this compact coupe.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at jimmydinsmore73@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @driversside

2022 BMW M240i X-Drive

Price/As tested price................................................ $48,550/$48,550

Mileage.......................................... 23 mpg/city; 32 mpg/hwy

Engine............................................. 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder

Horsepower................................. 382 hp/369 lbs./ft.

Transmission................................. 8-speed automatic

Drive Wheels................ All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point................ San Luis, Mexico

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The BMW M240i gets a new turbocharged power plant. The 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder has a TwinPower turbo engine. Contributed by Jimmy Dinsmore

The BMW M240i gets a new turbocharged power plant. The 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder has a TwinPower turbo engine. Contributed by Jimmy Dinsmore

Combined ShapeCaption
The BMW M240i gets a new turbocharged power plant. The 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder has a TwinPower turbo engine. Contributed by Jimmy Dinsmore

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