NEW FOR 2016:

-High-performance M2 added

BMW’s little 2 Series makes big performance gains for 2016, with the addition of an M2 model, a bona fide sports car that replaces the wannabe M235i as the 2 Series flagship.

A 3.0L twin-turbo inline six-cylinder that’s related to, but distinct from, that in the M3/M4 is the M2’s motivation, and it makes 365 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is the option; where lesser 2 Series cars can be had as rear- or all-wheel drivers, the M2 is rear-drive only.

Carried over from last year are the 228i and M235i, in coupe and convertible body styles. The 228i gets a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder generating 241 hp and 255 lb-ft, while the M235i uses a 3.0L turbo six-cylinder making 322 hp and 330 lb-ft.

In coupe models, both 228i and M235i can be had with rear- or all-wheel drive (xDrive); rear-drive cars can be ordered with a six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic transmission, but AWD models are automatic-only.

In the convertible, the 228i xDrive and M235i xDrive are automatic-only, leaving the RWD M235i as the only droptop model you can get with a stickshift.

Standard features in the 228i include a multi-function leather-trimmed steering wheel, cruise control, heated windshield washer jets, heated and power-adjustable side mirrors, 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires, eight airbags (driver and passenger frontal airbags; front and rear (coupe only) side airbags; driver and passenger knee blockers), leatherette upholstery, velour floor mats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated front seats, brushed aluminum trim, sliding front armrest, front fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, automatic bi-Xenon headlights, USB input, and Bluetooth.

M235i trim adds a heated steering wheel, upgraded brakes, adaptive sport suspension, power seats with driver memory, sport seats, upgraded stereo, M-specific leather steering wheel and aerodynamics package, and high-performance tires.

We’ll have more to tell you about the M2 once BMW announces detailed specs and pricing.

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