When the 1 Series launched in 2007, there were mixed reviews – primarily about the looks. However, it was undeniable that the 3 Series had gotten large and expensive, and the 1 was “just right” for those wishing for a compact driver’s car. There was even the spunky 1M, which since has become a collector. As BMW does with pretty much every generation, the follow-up 2 Series was bigger and more powerful. The M235i and later M240i offered performance close to that of the 1M and were cheaper, and the M2, M2 Comp, and M2 CS rose to new levels of performance. It was bigger and the styling was more traditional than the outgoing E8x, as well.
Well, the F2x chassis is dead, and in its place we now have the G42. The new chassis is built in Mexico and has…well, polarizing styling. It’s also huge. And, powerful. And….all-wheel drive, if you’d like. Top of the range is this car, the M240i xDrive. In terms of performance, the M240i is able to hang with the outgoing M2 Competition. How is that possible? Well, the B58 turbo six is up in power to 382 now, an increase of nearly 50 horsepower over the last model, and in xDrive models it’s hooked to an eight-speed ZF gearbox. That means 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and a 12.1-second quarter mile. In a straight line it’ll outrun an M2 Comp all day long despite it’s nearly 4,000-lb curb weight. That’s what all-wheel drive does for you, folks. It’s also, amazingly, cheaper than the M2 Comp was by some measure – a nicely loaded example will set you back around $60,000, which is where the M2 Competition started.
Today’s car is claimed to have been a press demonstrator for BMW, and – presuming you like the new look – it’s pretty eye-catching in Melbourne Red Metallic over Tacora Red Vernasca leather along with the optional M Performance forged-alloy wheels: