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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Subtly updated BMW 2 Series debuts along with more potent M2

Both the refreshed 2 Series and M3 have been confirmed from the South Africa from the fourth quarter of this year.

Ahead of its third year of production next month, BMW has given the 2 Series coupe, as well its performance sibling, the M2, their first mid-life updates in preparation for the commencing of sales in August.

New outside

Externally, the internally named G42 2 Series differs little from the pre-facelift variant as apart from the M Sport package now being standard across the entire range, Munich has finished the grille in chrome and the lower rear section of the side skirts in the selected body colour as opposed to black.

ALSO READ: PICS: 2002-inspired new BMW 2 Series revealed

A gloss black diffuser inserts rounds the changes off, while on the M240i, the Shadow Line exterior pack comes standard, along with a gloss black bootlid spoiler and mirror caps, the option of the M Sport Pro package, the M Sport brakes and also fitted from the off, gloss black detailing on the side air intakes.

Refreshed BMW 2 Series revealed
All 2 Series now have the M Sport pack as standard, along with 19-inch alloy wheels. Image: BMW

Completing the transformation are 19-inch alloy wheels on all models, and four new colour options; Skyscraper Grey Metallic, Frozen Pure Grey Metallic, Fire Red Metallic and Frozen Portimao Blue Metallic. Restricted to the M240i is Zandvoort Blue.

Even more discreet are the changes to the M2, namely black exhaust outlets, black model lettering and silver as opposed to black M light alloy wheels still measuring 19-inches at the front and 20-inches at the rear.

Spot the changes inside

Inside, both the 2 Series and M2 are fitted with the Curved Display consisting of the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the 14.9-inch iDrive infotainment system running the latest version 8.5 operating system.

Also new is the steering wheel, the Performtex sport seats with standard heating and anthracite inserts.

BMW unveils updated M2
All models now feature the Curved Display inside. Image: BMW

An alternative to the latter though is wood or carbon fibre inlays, while the seats can be trimmed in black or cognac Sensatec fabric or full Vernasca leather with red stitching.

New for the M2 is the model specific M steering wheel with red M1 and M2 mode buttons, optional heating for the wheel itself and new colours for the M Sport seats. Again optional is the M Carbon bucket chairs trimmed in Merino leather.

M Sport standard, more firepower for M2

The expansion of the M Sport pack, which had been the case in South Africa since sales started two years ago, means all 2 Series’ feature the M Sport suspension from the start, with no dynamic changes otherwise featuring on the M2.

On the model front, the 220i no longer serves as the entry-level 2 Series, its place in certain market now occupied by the 218i.

Although powered by the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, outputs fall from 135kW/300Nm to 115kW/250Nm and the claimed top speed from 236 km/h to 224 km/h. The respective 0-100 km/h times are 7.5 seconds and 8.7 seconds.

BMW unveils updated M2
Five new colours have now been afforded to the M2. Image: BMW

Upping the ante, the 230i keeps hold of the same 2.0-litre powerplant with its power and torque figures also being unchanged at 180kW/400Nm.

Limited to 250 km/h, the 230i will get from 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds and, as with the rest of the 2 Series range, offers a single transmission option, the eight-speed Steptronic which comes with the sport-optimised ratios in all bar the 218i.

Completing the four-cylinder range, the 220d retains not only its standing as the sole diesel model, but also variant with electrification in the form of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that adds an additional eight kilowatts for short spells. Its top speed is 237 km/h with 0-100 km/h taking seven seconds.

At the top of the regular 2 Series range, the M Performance fettled M240i retains the xDrive all-wheel-drive system and 3.0-litre B58 turbocharged straight-six engine, although with varying outputs as a result of emissions regulations.

BMW unveils updated M2
Silver alloy wheels now replace the previous black items. Image: BMW

As such, non-European models continue to produce 285 kW, while those destined for the Old Continent develop 274 kW. Torque, in both cases, is unchanged at 500 Nm.

In terms of performance, the M240i, regardless of the engine’s tuning, will get from 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 250 km/h.

Taking centre stage, the M2 retains the six-speed manual and eight-speed Steptronic transmissions, but with an uptake power from 3.0-litre S58 turbocharged straight-six engine.

Differing only on the torque fronts, the unit now develops 353 kW with the manual still producing 550 Nm and the automatic an additional 50 Nm for a total of 600 Nm.

Performance-wise, both manual and automatic M2 will still hit 250 km/h or 285 km/h when specified with the optional M Driver’s Package, although 0-100 km/h takes four seconds in the latter and 4.2 seconds in the case of the former.

Coming to South Africa

Going on-sale in two month’s time as mentioned, BMW South Africa has confirmed availability of both the 2 Series and M2 from the fourth quarter of the year with final pricing to be announced then.

As a comparison, the current range excludes the 230i and by extension, the 218i, with pricing from R848 395 to R1 165 111. Current stickers for the M2 is R1 505 988 for the automatic and R1 516 334 for the manual.

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