For the 2014 Sochi Olympic games on NBC, BMW is launching several new commercials to introduce the BMW 2-Series, i-Series, and the 3-Series. The commercial featuring the 2-Series is entitled “Torch,” and features a classic 1968 BMW 2002 passing the torch to the new BMW M235i coupe by way of headlights.
The 2002 is often considered the genesis of the sports coupe from BMW. In 1968 vehicles were often very light, and the 2002 was no different. Because of weight, the 2002 had excellent handling and performance from the 100hp engine it possessed. 100hp is the same amount of power than comes in a modern-day Mazda2. In the present day, the vehicle is often lusted after by BMW enthusiasts because of the history of the vehicle. It helped launch BMW into the sports car manufacturer that it is today.
The 2-Series is smaller than the 3-Series, and is the coupe version of the 1-Series that is not sold in North America anymore. The M235i in this commercial features many of the tuning and performance bits from BMW’s Motorsport division. Motorsport tunes vehicles to have more power, and better handling similar to what Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division does. To keep pricing down, however, the M235i does not have the full Motorsport treatment. It is designed to be a gateway vehicle to get people into performance BMWs and eventually upgrade to the M3/M4 or M5/M6.
Starting at $43,100 the M235i features a 320 horsepower straight-6 engine and rear wheel driver. Like a BMW, it can be ordered with safety features like lane departure assistance and parking sensors with a camera. It can even be ordered with the ability to parallel park itself if the driver chooses to.
BMW is looking to get younger buyers into their performance vehicles, and the M235i (and the 2-Series in general) is one of the ways to do it. What remains to be seen is how the 2-Series handles against BMW’s strong-selling 3-Series. The 3-Series has 4-doors, making it much more practical for many people.