Should BMW consider introducing a “0 Series”?

Am I just being silly, or do I have a valid point? Please bear with me on this one…

Over more than 50 years, BMW always had an enthusiast’s car on offer. What do I mean by that?

Well, you could always buy a small, nimble, rear-wheel-drive Bavarian “driving machine” in the form of a coupe. What basically started with the “02”, at some point morphed into the 3 Series coupe, later on as the 3 became bigger and bigger started as the 1 Series coupe, and – at least until now – ended up as the 2 Series.

You now might wonder, where the problem is. The 2 Series is still on sale, it recently even got a complete overhaul. Well, the G42 2 Series, as inherently good as it may be, – by any stretch of the imagination – is not a small, nimble car anymore. As cars seem to unstoppably keep getting bigger and bigger, the most recent 2 Series also fell victim to this ever continuing pursuit of comfort, refinement and safety. To put this all into context, let’s make a little “historic” size comparison.

As European cars in the 70s and 80s in general were tiny, let’s not be unfair and start in the 90s, hence with the E36 3 Series coupe: Length: 4433mm, Width: 1710mm, Wheelbase: 2700mm. E46 3 Series coupe: Length: 4488mm, Width: 1757mm, Wheelbase: 2725mm. E92 3 Series coupe: Length: 4612mm, Width: 1782mm, Wheelbase: 2760mm. F22 2 Series coupe: Length: 4432mm, Width: 1774mm, Wheelbase: 2690mm. G42 2 Series coupe: Length: 4537mm, Width: 1838mm, Wheelbase: 2741mm.

Enough with the numbers-crunching. You get my point. The current 2 Series, which is the successor of the “F22” 2 Series, which in itself is the successor of the original 1 Series coupe, which was always intended to provide the enthusiast with a “back to the roots”, nimble driver’s car, is now almost as long, and substantially wider than a 3 Series from 10 years ago. That’s nuts! And that is not even a surprise, considering the 4 Series now is basically a 6 Series. And the 8 Series? Puh, don’t even get me started on this one… Also, taking into account the curb weight of the cars, the new 2 is heavier than the old “F32” 4
Series. And that was already considered to be a bit of a porker. Call that a shocker. What is this truly all about, can someone please explain it to me?

However, that all means we are now at a point, where BMW is no longer offering a small, focused, lightweight coupe anymore. That’s a shame, as I am sure there would be a considerable market for something like it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly where the “0” Series comes into play. The “0” could be the new “2”, which was always meant to carry the ethos of the original “02”. Short wheelbase, nimble, big engine, rear wheel drive, coupe. It could fill the void left over from BMW’s most recent “supersize me” program. Still not confused enough? Then get this: I wouldn’t even mind if the “0” Series would bin the wonderful, glorious inline-six in favor of a pure electric drivetrain. I would even go as far as
to say, BMW could use it to redefine “The ultimate Driving Machine” and carry its idea over into the 2020ies. I wholeheartedly would be ok with that, as long as it has a stubby, boxy design, harking back to the legends, and shares BMW’s well-known dynamic traits. A precise, but playful chassis, coupled with a fun, and engaging drive. And believe me, the potential buyer wouldn’t care a bit about refinement, excessive comfort, as well as useless and distracting stuff like overblown onboard infotainment. Now it’s your turn, BMW.

Until something like this comes along, let’s still appreciate what BMW have done with the new 2 Series. However you look at it, you just have to admire the fact, that you can still walk into a BMW dealership, and order a brand new coupe, with rear wheel drive, – at least when the RWD version of the 240i and the M2 eventually will be available – and a stonking, brilliant inline-six under the bonnet. And until I get my hands on one, I will for sure reserve judgement on how good it actually is. Amen.


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