It might just be the sweetest model in the BMW 2 Series coupe lineup, and suddenly the middle-grade 228i is now $4500 cheaper.
Priced at $59,900 plus on-road costs, the sticker reduction from the previous $64,400 tag results in no pulling of equipment, either. Rather, the 228i actually adds a rear-view camera, internet services (for traffic, weather) and digital radio.
What you still get is 180kW and 350Nm from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that would otherwise cost you $20K more in a 328i sedan. It’s a bit of a gravelly unit from low revs, and can’t match the smoothness of the 3.0-litre turbo six underbonnet of the M235i, but is a keen, raunchy and flexible provider of 5.6sec 0-100km/h performance.
The M235i also comes in for a nominal $2430 price chop, now $77,500 plus on-roads, but that hefty pricing gap from the 228i is a lot to pay for the smoother six and 4.8sec 0-100km/h.
The price realignment means buyers may more closely cross-shop the two-door 228i with the identically marked five-door Audi S3. The 228i also now starts with the same first digit as the elderly Nissan 370Z ($56,930) while placing some distance between it and the new Audi TT ($71,950).
Either way, both 228i and M235i are cracking driver’s cars, particularly when optioned with the optional (expensive, at $4000 plus fitting) limited-slip differential. Each is a no-cost-option six-speed manual proposition, but most will default to the admittedly brilliant eight-speed ZF automatic with paddleshifters.
Sales of the BMW 2 Series Coupe and Convertible are up 77.4 per cent year to date, with a 1483-unit tally to September 2015 placing the range third in the sub-$80K sports car segment, behind the Toyota 86 and Hyundai Veloster.