BMW has released the first ever 2 Series Gran Coupe in South Africa ‘virtually,’ with the company announcing local pricing and range of specifications for the new low-slung saloon, starting at R515 000.

BMW’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz CLA is the 2 Series Gran Coupe, and unlike the rear-driven 2 Series Coupe, the GC is built around BMW’s ULK front-wheel-drive platform. Although its style won’t earn universal acclaim, it has some sporty touches, such as frameless side windows and a sloping roofline at the rear.

Two petrol engines are available; the M235i xDrive, which will return 225 kW, will power the 3-cylinder 103 kW at the 218i and BMW’s most powerful four-cylinder. The single diesel unit will only be the familiar 2.0-liter four-cylinder, generating 140 kW in front-wheel-drive version. This could be a baby sedan but by being a rear-wheel drive it is not following in sedan footsteps of BMW. Like the latest 1 Series with which it shares architecture, this is just an affair with front-wheel drive unless it goes for the range-topping M235i which then gets the xDrive all-wheel drive feature.

BMW reports 4.9 seconds to be 0-100 km / h, while the 218i reports to be 8.7 seconds and the 220d to have achieved 7.5 seconds. The M235i offers some distinctive design features to oppose Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 and Audi S 3 Sedan, with a 3D grid system, wider intake and 18-inch alloy wheels, with 19 “rims available on the Options list, amongst other features, as well as the more basic configuration of the models.

The 2 Series is no different as it is up to date with technical features. A few options on offer such as: BMW Head-up Displays, Apple CarPlay, Remote Software Update, Audio BMW Gestate Control, comprehensive driver support systems and reverse assistance with rear view camera. Aircraft Camera is also available.

If you want to turn your smartphone into a key, the 2 Series can be locked and unlocked by the app and the 2 Series can be activated by using your phone when the unit is placed in the appropriate compartment tray.

The BMW digital key, the Lane Departure Alert with active lane retour, Lane Change Warning Driving Assistant, the path assistant, rear collision and crossing warning traffic alarm, and the Parking Assistant which offers parallel and vertical parking help are also available. Other areas available are the BMW Digital Key.

All cars are sold under a two-year / unlimited mileage guarantee and under a five-year/90 000 km maintenance schedule.

Local images from BMW SA will be available as soon as the national lockdown ends.

By Noni Nchwe