Friday, March 21, 2014

BMW 4-Series Cabrio and 2-Series Coupe

A few moments ago, BMW thrown us a curve by introducing their new naming scheme where odd numbers represent saloons (or in the case of Gran Turismo models like the 3GT or the 5GT) and even numbers such as coupes, cabriolets, or in the case of Gran Coupes like the 6 Gran Coupe. It was quite a confusing act to follow and when the replacement for the 3-Series Coupe known as the 4-Series Coupe came last year, I told that this car warns that BMW is changing. I explained that it has a case of "8-speed-gearbox-quicker-than-manual-gearbox-itis", it's 0.7 seconds quicker than the A5 3.0 TFSI quattro, and the case of "ride-is-too-hard-osis". Well you know what? I'm not going to explain those even though I just did because word from BMW is...they now had a convertible version...

2014 BMW 4-Series Cabrio

2014 BMW 4-Series Cabrio

...and here it is, just in time for the spring season. The new 4-Series Cabrio may have the same nuisance that the coupe version got but now with the retractable roof that can be closed or open at the touch of the button, you can't really tell if its a well-mannered cruiser or not because even though with the roof open, it just never feel any magic you can expect from other luxury convertibles that are more expensive than this.

It costs 48,200 Euros for the entry-level 428i Cabrio, which is annoyingly over 7,000 Euros more than the Coupe version of the same spec and for the top of the line BMW 435i Cabrio model fitted with an 8-speed Steptronic gearbox and the M Sport pack, it costs 61,350 Euros, which is surprisingly ten thousand more than the coupe version with the same gearbox and the same package! Why would BMW charge this much for an open-top version of the 4-Series? Who knows? Your guess is as good as ours...

2014 BMW 4-Series Cabrio interior

2014 BMW 4-Series Cabrio

Anyway, while the price is a bit of an issue for the cabrio version, there's a bit more to it than that because the 4-Series Cabrio tries to stay as classy as a glamour girl walking on the streets of Beverly Hills 90210 and apart from the glam thing, it's still a tough cookie with a lot of tough love to follow. Judging by the fact that it's several kilos heavier than the coupe version, the new model is about 80% more rigid than the old 3-Series Cabrio it replaces. Despite that, you can still jitter yourself like you have been taking ten cups of caffeine in one try just to get higher heartbeats. Who wouldn't try that but who cares? It feels a bit jitterish when this care come face to face with potholes or bumps but with the roof closed, the jitter's all gone because with the roof up, it conjoins the structure as one, providing the new Cabrio the same silence as you get from a luxo-barge saloon car.

It's fine to drive with the roof up in places that never rain but if you're in Seattle or London or Berlin or places that rain frequently, you're going to take some time here because at the push of the button, it takes 20 seconds to close the roof but with the roof closed, it doesn't look like more of a coupe at all thanks to those three sections of the roof. If it's colored black, it's fine but with colors in it, that would just spoiled it.

But still, with or without the roof, the 4-Series Coupe is more conservative in any angle but because this isn't more of a sports coupe, it doesn't make the grade so how about something a bit more...sight for sore eyes?

2014 BMW 2-Series

This is the new 2-Series Coupe, it's the replacement to the 1-Series Coupe except in my eye, it isn't quite as baffling as the 4-Series because this is a nimbler and lighter coupe that can take you to A to B faster than you can say...gelignite.

Even though it follows BMW's new naming scheme, BMW claims that this new model tries to capture the magic from the classic BMW 2002 but is it the proper remake of the old 2002?

Remember the top-of-the-line M135i from 2012? Two years ago, it wants to be more of a hot hatch even though it wasn't classified as one but because of the straight-six engine that produces 326HP of power, it tries to outrun any other hatchback but because this is rear-wheel drive, the problems include that it's not friendly in the rain and the luggage is poor because the rear-wheel drive drivetrain just eats up the space. Yeah, you heard that idea but what about this? The top-of-the-line model is the M235i Coupe, priced at 43,750 Euros, and because it has the same 326HP straight-six turbo engine as the M135i hatchback, this new model is worth of a power in a light package. This is like putting a thousand sticks of gelignite in your kid's lunch box. Did I said anything wrong? Oh well...

2014 BMW 2-Series Coupe
...there's nothing too wrong about having a 2-Series Coupe in your garage. Whether if its the entry-level 220i, the 218d, the 220d, the 225d, or the M235i, you can't go wrong with it well, just the petrol models in it because those diesel models can be a bit of a blunt for a sports coupe rigged with something that is a bit too cheesy. Because judging by the way it behaves, I'm starting to think that this fun-to-drive Bimmer maybe more of starting where the old 1-Series Coupe left off but also continuing the legacy of the classic BMW 2002. The reason why is because it's all in the roots. The BMW 2002 is a classic compact rear drive masterpiece that not only it was more of a grand tourer but on the track days, it can never be outlooked in the competition. It was the car where Hans Stuck won the Nurburgring 24-Hour race in 1970, proving this classic a track-ready work of art.

2014 BMW 2-Series

Well, I never though of saying this, but with this car, BMW sure knows why they reminded of their roots in the development of the 2-Series Coupe and although this car isn't much more of a nostalgia, the 2-Series sure knows how to capture the magic of the 2002.

Conclusion time; while the 4-Series Cabrio tries to be as glam as a glamour girl in Beverly Hills even though it has some issues that needs plastic surgery, the 2-Series Coupe is all about following its roots to the BMW 2002 even though it has no connection to it. Needless to say, if I had to choose which one, I'd go for the 2 because I can have as much fun until I'm taking a number 2 on the loo.

2014 BMW 2-Series

No seriously, it's the M235i Coupe that makes me want to take a number 2 on the loo after spending hours of fun in it...

Photo: BMW

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