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2022 BMW M240i Coupe review: Fun over practicality, Lifestyle News

To taste the heady experience of a fast, compact, driver-focused BMW coupe, what do you buy today?

In the past, your answer could have been the 1 Series Coupe, or even further back in time, the 3 Series Coupe. Today, it’s certainly not the poised, large, and complex 4 Series, and definitely not the GT-sized 8 Series either.

The answer is: The 2 Series Coupe.

The new 2 Series Coupe launched here alongside its polar opposite, the 2 Series Active Tourer multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) earlier this year.

The top dog of the 2 Series Coupe range — at least until the inevitable M2 comes along — the M240i. Now our feeling is that the 230i, which is rear wheel drive and more modestly powered, is probably the sweetest-driving car of the lot for regular people. But the M240i does manage to capture the same essential feeling with a more violence and flamboyance.

This is definitely not the 2 Series Coupe, but it’s not bad: The new-gen 2 Series MPV which has launched in Singapore

You don’t have to opt for the ‘Midnight Storm’ metallic paint (to our mind it’s Flakey Aubergine, but that’s because I’m hungry) but it sure does communicate the car’s intentions clearly.

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BMW opted for ‘extroverted’ styling this time around, which is German speak for ‘We let the designers hang loose a bit’. There’s classic coupe proportions — long bonnet, short overhangs, low greenhouse — but on the still compact scale of the car it looks bulldog fierce.

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The car is considerably larger than before in all areas, but still manageable and relatively small at 4.5-metres, in an age where a 3 Series is 4.7-metres.

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For some reason the purple — a rare standard color at the best of times — makes me think of Prince (the musician) and pimps (not the musicians). Perhaps it’s because the M240i’s flamboyance hides serious firepower, both in terms of music and thrills.

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The 3.0-liter inline six — also found in the M340i and various X ‘M40i’ models — finds a home under that long bonnet, and driving enthusiasts should note that this is the smallest six-cylinder BMW you can currently buy.

As the M Performance model, the equipment list can be read out as a constant hum. M has developed/branded the: adaptive suspension, sport differential, transmission, brakes, steering wheel, sport seats, 20-inch wheels, and a lot of other things.

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It doesn’t m-atter because the car drives brilliantly. First off, while it’s wider and longer, the car doesn’t feel too large for Singapore (yes this is a thing). Secondly, the steering and chassis response is very much that of a small car, direct and communicative. Third, it rides very well for a small, sporty coupe.

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That sets it up for driver popularity. Unlike some cars, whose mode shifts engender a scary, schizophrenic personality change, as you shift from Comfort, to Sport, the M240i’s character stays the same but it simply goes harder and faster in a pleasingly analog way.

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To go fast in some cars you need to build it up slowly. The M240i is happy to take you along the route to faster, letting you know what it needs or doesn’t along the way, and it’s communicative enough that you don’t fear for your underwear or premium insurance.

An incisive car can sometimes mean it’s twitchy, and not easy to drive, but all-wheel drive certainly helps here. The inline six’s 374hp on a RWD coupe of these dimensions would be quite a handful.

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The M240i is direct enough, its power manageable enough, for the driver to feel a part of the collaborative process of driving even in our stilted, awkward, rough, shabby, and drudgery-filled road environment.

All-wheel drive cars can drift now — as our video and review of the new Audi RS 3 shows:

Our suspicion is that it will be brilliant over almost any type of road, one confirmed by a lucky b****** colleague who drove it into the Alps for our sister title, Top Gear Singapore.

As for living with it, it’s a small, powerful car and anyone seriously interested would already be prepared for a thirst for gasoline, higher road tax, and less practicality.

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It doesn’t utterly disdain the mundane like a supercar does, and it should be decently practical if you have sensible expectations. We can’t tell you much about the rear seats or the boot since nobody was stupid enough to sit in the back, and we weren’t stupid enough to carry anything sizeable in the boot.

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The spec sheet says 390-litres, which is more than we expected. If anything, you’ll be able to lay bare the hypocrisy of Mini 5-Door owners, who only have 278-liters of boot space.

To round out the competition, there’s the Porsche Cayman, Jaguar F-Type, and maybe the Mercedes-Benz SLK. The Porsche is the closest direct competitor, but also more expensive. If you can’t get along with a twitchier mid-engined car, the Audi TT 2.0 is another choice.

But the value of this experience, and its increasing rarity does show in the price: At $350k with COE, the M240i is still expensive for what it is — a small, high-performance-but-not-quite-exotic sports car. Neither are its competitors, mind: the TT 2.0 already rings up the register at $300k, for instance.

The price, badge, and sweet-driving nature means that the M240i is a car that unabashedly reflects the owner choosing fun over practicality and temperance. But that, and especially when compared to many costlier boutique competitors, is perhaps exactly the point for imbibing.

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BMW M240i xDrive

Drive train type Petrol engine
Engine 2,998cc, inline 6, turbocharged
Power 374hp at 5500-6500rpm
torque 500Nm at 1900-5000rpm
gear box eight-speed automatic
0-100km/h 4.3-seconds
top-speed 250km/h
Fuel Efficiency 8.9L/100km
VES Band C2 / +$25,000
agents Performance Munich Cars
Price $349,888 with COE
Availability Now
verdict BMW’s smallest coupe is a little powerhouse of fun

This article was first published in CarBuyer.

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