BMW has lifted the covers off the upcoming 2 Series Convertible. The new soft-top model will arrive in UK showrooms in October, priced from £29,180 to £37,710. First deliveries are expected in February next year.
Designed to be a more "grown up and prestigious car" than the 1 Series Convertible it replaces – according to BMW bosses – the 2 Series is larger in every dimension than the outgoing car, meaning greater room for both passengers and luggage.
Unlike its bigger brother, the 4 Series Convertible, the 2 Series does without a fancy folding metal roof, in favour of a more conventional fabric item. However, it's a four-layer arrangement, designed to maximise thermal and acoustic insulation. It can be raised or lowered automatically in just 20 seconds, and at speeds of up to 30mph.
Elsewhere, the convertible shares the 2 Series Coupe's strengths. It's the only rear-wheel-drive model in its class, which gives it a dynamic head start compared to its front-wheel-drive competitors – something that is likely to appeal to keen drivers.
It also comes with a choice selection of engines: three petrol and one diesel. The entry-level model is the 220i. Boasting 182bhp, it will get the car from 0-62mph in a respectable 7.5 seconds and yet returns a combined 41.5mpg.
Topping the range is the fiery M235i, which gets a six-cylinder 322bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged motor for serious performance. However, those with economy at the front of their minds will likely be more seduced by the 220d. This 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel model develops 187bhp, and matches the 220i for acceleration, but yields an average 60.1mpg. All engines are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with an eight-speed automatic available as an option.
Buyers will be able to choose from three trim levels: Sport, Luxury and M Sport. All models are fitted with automatic air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB digital radio, sports seats and rear parking sensors. Luxury trim adds leather upholstery and a wood finish to the interior, while M Sport cars get unique exterior styling, sports suspension and a raft of go-faster interior trim pieces including a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel.
Range-topping M235i models also get bespoke styling, dual-zone climate control, a unique suspension setup and a special design of alloy 18-inch alloy wheels.