I believe there is something special about a coupé. For me, it’s more than just a technological puzzle put together with precision and engineering.
Oupés should be very much about building and evoking emotion in a car because of its sloping, low looks and promise of power and speed.
Yes, sedans, hatchbacks, and SUVs can all look good and attract buyers for their looks.
In fact, compact SUVs and some new electric vehicles have taken design to a new level, often fusing coupe looks with a cosmopolitan mix of design genres.
However, I wonder if in 10 years they will still evoke a questioning look when they drive by on the road as older cars? Can they stand the test of time?
I ask this because I still turn my head to look at coupes, some from before this century, especially ones like the Hyundai coupe. In its heyday it was dubbed the “poor man’s Porsche”.
It was so right in terms of design and the mix of curve and edge. It is/was a car ahead of its time and I was sorry it was discontinued.
And don’t let anyone tell you it was a woman’s car. What an insult to women and the car.
I also remember the great yellow BMW 8 Series coupe. And the Audi TT remains an extraordinary piece of what I will call emotional engineering.
I could go on. Anyone Ford Puma? (Yes, there was a coupe version a long time ago and it was a decent ride too).
There’s a downside – you can spoil a coupe despite the best of intentions. Ironically, Hyundai did that with the subsequent Veloster hatch.
Now I get quite a bit of criticism from people saying I always seem to ride something exotic or electric. That’s more a function of the timing of the car’s production and arrival in the Irish market.
When it comes to the coupés, I have to admit the criticism that they are not really practical.
And they’re always more expensive than standard, so an emotional reaction to seeing or driving a model has to be tempered with the reality of buying or owning a model.
This week’s test car is the latest BMW 2 Series Coupe.
It doesn’t smash on all fronts with bold bulges and chevrons. I like the 4-series prettier (the 2-series borrows from it and the 3-series).
But with its long bonnet, it has a mix of beautiful lines. It certainly benefits from being slightly longer and wider than the old one.
In fact, it’s 105mm longer (4,537mm) and 64mm wider (1,838mm) than its predecessor.
However, the new car is 28mm lower at 1,390mm. At 2,741 mm, its wheelbase is also 51 mm longer. This emphasizes the “crouched” look.
BMW reckons the car has a near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
Inside, it’s very much a take on BMW’s existing pool of instrumentation, layout and new connectivity.
Yet with an excellent view of the driver, I have the feeling of driving energy that you get from the really good exponents of the art of coupe building.
If the test car had an Achilles’ heel at the current temperatures, it was the diesel engine under the hood. It is now almost a criminal offense to have such a power source in a car of this type.
It’s not for me to say whether that’s right or wrong; only that I know the engine well from other models and it has never let me down.
When testing, I really had to strain to detect a harsh diesel tone; Pulling power was exceptional though, being a diesel it didn’t have the crazy tear-away feel of the 374hp petrol M240i model. There is also a more practical two-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine.
The chassis was nice and sporty, although I didn’t push it hard; It was evident that it could handle a lot more corners and turns at higher speeds. That had enormous grip.
I would have liked a little more feedback from the steering and maybe a little more inherent noise from the exhaust – that’s part of the fun of a coupé, I always say.
And fitting three big people in the cabin was really beyond his capacity; the leggy rear occupant had to climb over both rear “seats” for a quick trip to the airport.
Despite some of the shortcomings just mentioned, it still produced more than enough power, pace and handling to match the coupé formula.
So yes I would buy one if I had the money although I really like the 4 series.
The coupe magic lives on, albeit in smaller numbers as some automakers ramp down production. A shame.
But it makes people like the 2 Series all the cuter.
https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-reviews/getting-that-coupe-feeling-with-latest-bmw-2-series-41924369.html Coupé feeling with the latest BMW 2 series