2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible First Look
Open-Air Pleasure Starts at $38,850
The 2014 BMW 2 Series Coupe has already made waves in the U.S., but now the compact can drop it when it's hot with the arrival of the 2015 2 Series Convertible. Set to make its world debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the convertible will start arriving in showrooms in early 2015 with a starting price of $38,850.
Like its fixed-roof counterpart, the 2 Series Convertible will also be available in two versions: the 2015 BMW 228i convertible and the 2015 BMW M235i – the very first open-top M Performance Bimmer offered in the U.S. The 2015 228i gets the usual 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 under the hood, making 240 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque, while the M235i gets BMW's 3.0-liter turbo I-6, which pushes out 320 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Both cars come standard with an eight-speed automatic, though the M235i will be available with a short-throw six-speed manual for those who like to row their own gears. The 228i will start at $38,850, while the M235i starts at $48,650 including destination. Adding the automaker's xDrive all-wheel-drive system commands an extra $1800, however, the 228i xDrive will be the only one available at launch, while the 235i xDrive will come later down the line.
The similarities between the convertible and coupe versions continue, as the drop-tops are also equipped with standard-across-the-board launch control. With this, BMW says the 228i vert can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds, while the grippier 228i xDrive gets there slightly quicker in 5.6 seconds. While the 228i convertible doesn't go from 0-60 mph as quick as its fixed-roof counterpart, BMW claims the M235i convertible is just as quick as the M235i coupe. The drop-top will reportedly accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds with the auto, and 5.0 seconds with the manual. However, in MT testing, the 2014 M235i Coupe automatic completed the 0-60-mph sprint in 4.4 seconds, so we wouldn't be surprised if the convertible's numbers be a bit conservative as well.
Although EPA numbers haven't been officially revealed, we can look to those of the coupe for guidance. Compared to the outgoing 128i Coupe, the 228i coupe is 30 percent more efficient, while the 235i is 20 percent more efficient than the 135i Coupe. That means the 2015 2 Series Convertible should also boast improved numbers, but then again, buyers of the drop-tops probably won't care as much about fuel economy as they will about all the performance goodies, especially the ones in the M235i Convertible. Like the coupe, the convertible also gets a bunch of standard upgrades: M Adaptive Suspension, M brakes, a sport-tuned steering setup, 18-inch M wheels, and Michelin Pilot Super Sports. The typical M-exterior treatment also applies to the M235i.
If the M235i sounds like too much car, the 228i can be dressed up with various trim lines like the rest of the BMW lineup. A Sport Line adds 18-inch alloys and various M235i-inspired interior and exterior trim pieces, while the M Sport package adds an M-tuned suspension, M wheels, and certain exterior and interior pieces. Models equipped with xDrive aren't fit for these options, though they can be equipped with a Track Handling Package that throws in M suspension, sport steering, M brakes, 18-inch wheels, and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Since the 2 Series Convertible's predecessor was such a big hit, designers didn't want to mess with too much of a good thing, however, they were able to improve on a few things. While the 2 Series Convertible keeps the signature "boat deck" look, its softtop has been enhanced with extra insulation for an even quieter cabin. BMW claims the added soundproofing cut interior noise by 5 dB(A) in the front seats and 7 dB(A) in the rear, but if you care more getting some Vitamin D than noise, the electrically operated softtop can be closed and opened in 20 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. If it's equipped with a Comfort Access option, you can remotely drop the top or fix it into place. Although the black softtop comes standard, a silver effect option that adds a subtle metallic sheen to the fabric is available with certain exterior paint colors.
Inside, the BMW 2 Series Convertible looks just like all other BMWs, but compared to its predecessor, it's more spacious. Access space through the rear is 0.4 inch larger, and although SAE volumes aren't yet available, BMW says trunk capacity is 9 percent larger when the softtop roof is up, and 7 percent larger when it's folded into the trunk. The fact that the width of the opening has increased by 1.4 inches should also result in increased trunk capacity. Even the opening from the trunk to the rear seats (when folded) has also grown in size, making it possible for owners to easily load not one, but two 46-inch golf bags or two snowboards.
We've already had plenty of nice things to say about the 2014 M235i, so we don't doubt that we'll also love having the wind blow through our hair in the 2015 M235i Convertible. But we won't know for sure until we get our hands on one after the 2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible starts arriving in showrooms across the U.S. in early 2015.