PRE FLIGHT BRIEFING I BMW M240i
▶ Why is it here?
Even though it’s not a hatchback, the M240i is clearly aimed at precisely the same buyers as the RS3 and A45: keen drivers with disposable income and at most modest family commitments.
The lineage goes back to M versions of the 1-series, which were more obviously high-end hot hatches, whereas this latest iteration is at heart a scaleddown 4-series. BMW insists on calling it a 2-series, even though it has precious little in common with the Gran Coupe and Active Tourer. Although bigger and heavier than the last generation, it has the great combination of stier body and more compliant suspension.
▶ Any clever stu ?
The genius is in the way everything is put together. If, however, we can single out one neat detail, it’s the Sprint function that comes with the Steptronic Sport transmission.
The driver simply holds on to the ‘down’ paddle for one second, and the transmission changes into the lowest usable gear, giving a burst of acceleration that’s more useful than Launch Control.
▶ Which version is this?
The M240i xDrive Coupe. It’s the range-topper for the 2-series coupe line-up – the others being the rear-wheeldrive 220i and 220d. The M240i is only available with xDrive (the rear-biased allwheel-drive system), an eightspeed automatic gearbox and the straight-six engine from the M3/M4, here making 369bhp. Upgraded M Sport brakes are £300 well spent as part of the M Technology pack.
In the UK there’s only one version, fitted as standard with M Sport suspension and variable sport steering, priced from £45,795. An M2 will follow later this year; can it really be a better road car than this?