Drive Your Instinct: Sheer Driving Pleasure along the West Coast of South Africa in the All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé

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The All New BMW 2 Series Coupé Line-Up in Camps Bay
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé Line-Up in South Africa
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

Over a two day period last week motoring journalists from around the country were invited for the official launch of the All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé in the Western Cape, with the starting point in Cape Town.

We touched down early on the morning of Thursday 3rd March at the Cape Town International Airport, where we were greeted by the new BMW 220i, 220d, and M240i xDrive in all the available colours (except Alpine White): Mineral White Metallic, Melbourne Red Metallic, M Portimao Blue Metallic, M Brooklyn Grey Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, and Thundernight Metallic (a Purple colour which is only available in the M240i xDrive model).
All the cars were parked, cleaned, and fuelled - ready for our journey from the Automotion Valet Parking lot at the Cape Town International Airport.

Everyone teamed up with their co-driver, and was assigned a vehicle for the day.
Our vehicle for the day was the BMW 220i in M Portimao Blue Metallic, and my partner for the two days would be the very accommodating, pleasant Nerash Maharaj (Motoring Journalist for BizCommunity and 702).

We set off to our first destination with Nerash driving, which was high up in the mountains at Newtown Johnson Family Vineyard near Hermanus, where we travelled along the N2 highway and joined the R44 for a scenic route along Betty's Bay to reach our first pitstop. 

I've always admired this particular blue in a BMW (similar to the Portofino Blue), and against the white sand, deep blue sea, clear blue skies with white fluffy clouds, and the mountains that surrounded us, this vehicle enjoyed all the attention we were giving it as we stopped along the way to take a few shots.

The New BMW 220i in Portimao Blue Metallic
The New BMW 220i in M Portimao Blue
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at the restaurant at Newtown Johnson Family Vineyard, and we changed drivers for the second leg of our Day 1 journey.

I drove to our next destination through the historic town of Caledon, down Sir Lowry's Pass, where we enjoyed some amazing views, and making our way to Camps Bay.

We parked off at the Camps Bay Sports Club, and spent the night at The Bay Hotel which has a private entrance from the sports field, which is surrounded by views of the beautiful mountains and the ocean.

The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé in Camps Bay
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé in Camps Bay (From Left to Right: M240i xDrive in M Brooklyn Metallic, 220i in Black Sapphire Metallic, 220i in Melbourne Red Metallic, 220d in M Portimao Blue Metallic)
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

 

At night we enjoyed a presentation from Ryan Warnasuriya (Product Manager BMW) and Hailey Philander (Product Communications BMW) to learn more about the new BMW 2 Series Coupé.

The next day we checked out early, and we were on our way with a new vehicle - the BMW 220d in Black Sapphire Metallic.

Nerash drove first while I navigated him along Sea Point and pass the V&A Waterfront to join the N1 highway where we exited onto the N7 through Malmesbury to stop over at The Barn in Riebeeck Kasteel.

The New BMW 220d in Black Sapphire Metallic
The All-New BMW 220d in Black Sapphire Metallic
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

We had a quick stop-over at The Barn coffee shop, and I took the wheel making my way through Moorreesburg, Hopefield, Vredenburg, and to our destination at Paternoster, where we enjoyed lunch at Gaaitjie Restaurant.

After lunch I travelled back with Shiraz Bawa (Founder of SA Beemer) through Langebaan down to Milnerton to reach our final destination - the Automotion Valet Parking lot at the Cape Town International Airport.

I unfortunately missed the opportunity of testing the M240i xDrive (which I was looking forward to), as I attended Friday prayers in Vredenburg with Shiraz - I did get a sneak peak of the M240i xDrive, as well as one with some M Performance extras, and will hopefully get to spend some time with it soon.

The All New BMW M240i XDrive in Thundernight Metallic
The All New BMW M240i xDrive with M Performance Kit in Thundernight Metallic
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

My thoughts of the All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé:

Initially when I jumped into the passenger seat in our first vehicle on Day 1 at the Cape Town International Airport, I felt the vehicle was rather low. However, once we started driving along the route, I got very comfortable, very quickly, and even managed to create some content in the vehicle without a strain.

Once I took the wheel I understood why the seats were positioned the way they were - as it is ergonomically correct to the way the car is designed, and would be slightly uncomfortable if they were place any higher than they are.

The New BMW 2 Series Coupé Steering Wheel
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé Steering Wheel
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

The driver's seat is positioned perfectly with the steering wheel placed in the optimum location of the cockpit, and the paddle shift gears are close enough to your fingers (while on the steering wheel) - reducing any strain or movement from your hands off the wheel to reach them. The instrument cluster is now fully electronic, which for a purist might not have been the best option, but I wouldn't say it was a bad decision.

The ignition start/stop button is located in the centre console next to the gear lever. We are all used to the ignition button on the left/ right of the steering wheel, but this was cleverly designed, as again, you don't have to lift a finger (well maybe one) to switch the car on and off.

The New BMW 2 Series Coupé Centre Console
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé Centre Console
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

An 8-speed Steptronic sport transmission is fitted for fast gear changes, and the automatic gear lever is easy to use (as it it is still a stick) with an option of manual, and a reverse camera with park assist which aids you while in reverse from the infotainment touchscreen display.

The New BMW 2 Series Coupé Touchscreen Infotainment Display
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé Touchscreen Infotainment Display
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

We travelled approximately 700km over the two-day period, and I didn't not feel it at all in my legs or back. The leather seats almost hug you, and keep you comfortable for the 2 hour at a time journeys that we travelled.

All the cars in the media fleet were fitted with sunroofs, M badging, M Steering Wheel, and M chrome side sill protector, as the M Sport Package is now standard on both the 220i and 220d which is included in the price.

The New BMW 2 Series Coupé Chrome M Side Sill Protector
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé Chrome M Side Sill Protector
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

The 220i and 220d however do not have electric seats (which is a bit disappointing for a premium branded car), but the M240i is fitted with electric seats. There are also no grab handles on the driver or passenger sides, and the doors can only be opened or locked from the drivers side with a button.

On the plus side, the cabin is slightly bigger than that of its predecessor, and we see many changes with the exterior.

I quite like the refreshed design with the new headlights which pay homage to the original M cars with a single eye, as opposed to the usual two eyes that the other BMW Models currently have.

The All-New BMw 2 Series Coupé Headlights
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé Headlights
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

The door handles are shaven (which is hardly noticeable but gives a sleek look to the vehicle) to reduce a bit more weight, and the long bonnet almost makes you feel like you are driving a 3 series - the design is similar to that of the Z4 roadster with a long hood, and shorter boot.

The New BMW 2 Series Coupé Door Handles
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé Door Handle
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

Space in the the boot is perfect for the two passengers that you would normally have if you were to go for a weekend trip in the car, but there is space for extra baggage if one or two extra people do tag along.

The New BMW 2 Series Coupé Boot
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé Boot
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

The famous BMW kidney grille has also increased a bit, but not as much as some of the other models within the BMW fleet. I applaud the designs for the new air intake, and the fact that it opens and closes to inhale just the right amount of oxygen.

The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé in Melbourne Red
The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé in Melbourne Red
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

The 2 series is fitted with double-spoke style 19" rims in one colour or bi-colour. The 220i which we drove was wrapped in Bridgestone Turanza tyres (255/35/R19), and the 220d was fitted with Pirelli P ZERO tyres (front 225/40/R19 and back 255/35/R19), which definitely helped with the grip on the road as we tested them around some very windy roads with minimal discomfort or slip.

The New BMW 2 Series 19" Rims
The New BMW 2 Series Coupé 19" Alloy Wheels
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes 

Low profiled tyres do however make for a rather rocky ride off-road, but it's probably not often that you would be travelling with this car on a gravel road.

The rear lights have also changed shape which look like the letter P lying down, and is very distinctive feature on the road.

The New BMW 220i Rear Lights
The New BMW 220i Rear Lights
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

The M240i xDrive has additional features like the M styled sports mirrors, as well as the double exhaust pipes. M sport brake calipers are also now available in Red or Blue on the M240i xDrive.

The New BMW M240i xDrive Mirrors
The All-New BMW M240i xDrive Mirrors
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

The six-cylinder BMW M240i xDrive produces 285kW (500Nm of torque) which is 35kW more than it's predecessor and only available in South Africa (due to emissions law else where in the world) with fuel consumption claims of 8.0l/100km.

While the 220i produces 135kW (300Nm of torque) with fuel claims of 6.3l/100km, and the 220d produces 140kW (400Nm of torque) with fuel claims of 4.8l/100km.

You can definitely feel that the 220d does have more power and torque than the 220i when it takes off, over taking, and up the mountains, and the fuel consumption is also very noticeable as we did more mileage on Day 2 with the diesel engine than we did on Day 1 with the petrol, and there was a significant difference in the amount of fuel that was left - at one point when we left our first stop after driving about 120km, it seemed like we did not even use any fuel in the 220d.

Pricing including 15% VAT and CO2 tax starts from:
R771 900 for the BMW 220i Coupé
R819 278 for the BMW 220d Coupé
R1 062 420 for the BMW M240i xDrive 

All models come standard with a comprehensive warranty and a 5 year/ 100 000km Motorplan.

My favourite from the new line-up is definitely the diesel engine model. I personally feel BMW has perfected the diesel engine in the industry over the years as they managed to make a light weight engine with minimal engine noise - so it doesn't sound like you are driving a truck, and the power produced together with the amazing fuel consumption are well worth the extra R50 000 extra you would spend if you were to choose the 220i.

The New BMW 220d in Black Sapphire
The All-New BMW 220d in Black Sapphire
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

Lastly, a sports car with the premium comfort, safety, and performance which BMW produces (285kW and 500Nm of torque) at a price slightly over R1m for the M240i xDrive, is definitely going to shake up its class in the industry - keep a lookout to see our thoughts when we do get a chance to review it.

For all the technical details of the All-New 2 Series Coupé straight from BMW Group South Africa: The All-New BMW 2 Series Coupé in South Africa 

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Ziyaad Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of iloveza.com.

He is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate and has been running businesses since the age of 13. Ziyaad is a registered Financial Advisor, but has taken on many roles in various industries over the years. With his entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge he assists individuals and businesses to grow and achieve their goals.  

Find him at: Instagram: @ziyaad_86 / @ilovezacom Twitter: @ziyaad86 / @ilovezacom Facebook: iloveza.com  LinkedIn: Ziyaad Plaatjes / iloveza.com YouTube: iloveza.com  SoundCloud: iloveza.com E-mail: ziyaad@iloveza.com

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Nabihah Plaatjes Accolades:

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