First and foremost, we’re getting classic, yet slightly modernized kidneys, inspired by the Z4. The Hofmeister kink is barely modified and instantly recognizable. As well, the elegant, straight shoulder line is also there on the G42. So, the new generation is more of an authentic evolution than an outright revolution in terms of design. The already good looks of the former F22 generation have been much improved and reinterpreted in a more futuristic manner on the G42.
Front end: Rooted into tradition
Both the old and the new M240i xDrive Coupe feature a striking visual signature a la BMW M. And this is clearly visible right from the front end. While the F22 generation exhibits the traditional quad-eye fascia with rounded off, rectangular kidney, the new G42 series evokes the past thanks to its new single-lamp headlights that hark back to the old 2002 model.
Furthermore, all the details and creases in the front end of the new generation give the car a more robust, tridimensional look. The former air vents at the extremities of the front bumper have been replaced by triangular inlets. The central air intake of the new M240i xDrive Coupe is also more closely related to the core BMW M models than on the preceding generation.
All in all, the new G42 M240i looks sharp and poised, with a sort of dosed aggressiveness in its front end design. The styling of the F22 generation has aged pretty well and still look nimble and elegant, yet the new model simply exudes freshness.
Rear end: simplicity over sophistication
Comparing the two model generations lets you clearly distinguish the transition between two very different philosophies coming from the same styling school. This aspect becomes even more evident looking at the rear end. The sophistication of the former F22 has been replaced by the more clean, simple and geometrical paradigm of the G42.
The clear “L” shape of the former lamps installed on the F22 has been completely forgotten, as the new M240i Coupe exhibits a pair of striking, 3D-looking tail lights with blacked-out surfaces and inverted “L” graphics. Moreso, the lighting units are now slightly slimmer than in the past.
The geometrical approach is also clearly discernible at the rear end as well. The new M240i oozes muscularity through the new spoiler, the straight creases on the rear bumper and the new trapezoidal dual exhausts.
Side profile: little touches for a big effect
The F22 has always looked good, especially when viewed at from its side. The impeccable character line and the classic Hofmeister kink gave the car a charming elegance. That is why designers of the new 2 Series Coupe stayed away from the temptation of getting too busy with the side profile.
On the G42, some lines appear faded as the accent falls on highlighting the bare-metal surfaces of the car, yet the straight shoulder line is present, as is the classic Hofmeister kink that has been just slightly, not fundamentally, revamped. All in all, it can be said that the new 2 Series Coupe had a great preceding master that taught it good manners.
Cockpit: paradigm shift for the newcomer
Moving inside, the new G42 M240i marks a complete departure from the classic F22 M240i. Inspired by the new 4 Series family, the dashboard of the new 2 Series Coupe is completely digital and minimalistic. The Live Cockpit, the central Control Display and all the controls on the center console are shared with the G2x model series.
With respect to the F22, the difference are pretty clear: even though the dashboard architecture is true to BMW, the minimalistic approach in the G42 sets a clear departure from the older generation. Of course, the preceding 2 Series Coupe generation still holds on pretty well in the interior department, remaining both elegant, classic and functional. But the new 2 Series Coupe brings about an all-rounding improvement and renewal.
Instead of conclusion
It is hard to pick a so-called winner of a photo comparison since that pick could be quite subjective. But in the end, this new design shows that BMW knows how to attractively evolve most of its designs and rejuvenate model families. Most importantly, no matter how tempting might to come up with a controversial design, the new 2 Series Coupe shows how brilliant is, sometimes, to approach the safer path.
The F22 2 Series will forever remain a beautiful, hot compact 2-door model, with a design that aged very well and a still impressive equipment package. And certainly, the new 2 Series Coupe will indeed have some big shoes to fill, as expectations are set very high.