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      07-24-2006, 10:11 PM   #1
spudw
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What competition would BMW 2-Series target?????

We know a lot, but really only a little about the 2-series. We also know that BMW is in the habit of leading, not following. But I though it would be interesting to launch a discussion about the competition as a way of putting some more definition on what the 2 may be. In other words, speculation is largely about looking at the competition's pricing, power, features, etc... even knowing that BMW isn't going to just produce an A3 variant. So here are the cars the 2 will likely compete against, at least for my dollar:

Mini Cooper S (and JCW Edition)
VW GTI
Audi A3
Mercedes B200 (and Turbo)
VW Eos (coming very soon)

And with some hesitation I'll include:
Honda Civic Si
Mazdaspeed3 (not yet available, but well known)

Thoughts? Where will the 2 fit into this picture, in it's own unique way? Have I forgotten any?
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      07-24-2006, 11:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudwest
We know a lot, but really only a little about the 2-series. We also know that BMW is in the habit of leading, not following. But I though it would be interesting to launch a discussion about the competition as a way of putting some more definition on what the 2 may be. In other words, speculation is largely about looking at the competition's pricing, power, features, etc... even knowing that BMW isn't going to just produce an A3 variant. So here are the cars the 2 will likely compete against, at least for my dollar:

Mini Cooper S (and JCW Edition)
VW GTI
Audi A3
Mercedes B200 (and Turbo)
VW Eos (coming very soon)

And with some hesitation I'll include:
Honda Civic Si
Mazdaspeed3 (not yet available, but well known)

Thoughts? Where will the 2 fit into this picture, in it's own unique way? Have I forgotten any?
Definately a good idea .

It all depends on how BMW plays their cards IMO. They could easily make this car the most performance enthusiast biased with RWD and the N54 turbo, but it would probaly also be by far the most expensive. Out of that list it's main competitors IMO will be the more upscale offerings, i.e. the Eos, A3, and B200 (if it ever gets to the states), along with the upcoming C30. The others listed are more "cheap" speed than the 2 (or 1). I think the size and output of the engine that they stuff into this little car will tell alot.
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      07-25-2006, 08:09 AM   #3
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Good post Spud...
I'd say the A3 and C30 are the main competition-but I can imagine a time when alternatives fill in this price niche also...of 25k base-35k tops...
I can see the Japanese manufacturers (Acura, Infiniti, Lexus) trying to offer competition in this category- premium, small, sporty-
with BMW as the benchmark, of course!
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      07-25-2006, 09:25 AM   #4
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I agree, Brookside, that this is an emerging market (luxury compact) and it would be interesting to see what the japanese manufacturers would do to response, perhaps in the same way Lexus has made a credible attempt to respond to the 3-series with the new IS.

I'm fairly moderate on engine output, so my hope would be that a 225i would come in at the B200 Turbo/A3 price point (about $35K, Canadian). Given that a 225i would offer about 215 bhp, I'd be less inclined to pay the extra for a 230i with the extra bhp.

It's also clear that the GTI and Mini Cooper S are lower cost alternatives, but given the obvious virtues of these cars (the 2007 MCS looks especially interesting with the revised interior and Turbo engine) the 2 will have to bring more...
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      07-25-2006, 03:15 PM   #5
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I think eventually (maybe not at first while the current 3-series is still around) the 2-series will just take over the 3-series slot, especially if they come out with a sedan version. I bet the next generation 3 series gets even bigger and "upmarket" into what the e39 5-series was, which means the 2-series will slot right into what the 3-series was when it was an e36
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      07-25-2006, 03:42 PM   #6
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I agree. I think the 3-series will always be around, but it is getting out of the bread-and-butter territory that it once occupied and really into the upmarket range. The 335i is proof of that, as it (and the less powerful 328i) will basically be out of arms-reach for buyers that like me.

I figure I'm a typical entry level BMW customer (double income, mid-thirties professional, car nut, married, 1 kid, 2 cars), but the current 323i or 325i is about all that is in reach (and barely, if at all). And the 323i would be full of compromises for a car nut.

BMW should value people in the entry-level-buyer profile, because we're the one's that will buy in to the entry level, establish loyalty to the strongest brand in the auto market, and continue to trade up. That's my basic plan, because I identfy with the brand and I love the product (my parents currently have two).

But as the 3-series becomes bigger, better and more upscale, that opportunty fades. There are opportunuties to get into the luxury car class at the entry level(B200, A3, TSX, IS250) , but until a 1-series or 2-series comes along, those opportunities lie elsewhere, unfortunately.
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      07-25-2006, 05:11 PM   #7
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I think those are good points you guys make- there's something else worth mentioning and that's the trend away from expensive towards things that are perceived to be of value - and for BMW it's the upcoming 2-series-
it's the core... the bedrock of their beliefs.
I see BMW pushing the "2" with media ads to basically reframe their philosophy...by linking it up with the 2002 model coupe to remind people that historically this is where BMW made its mark...
with premium small sporty vehicles.We've talked on the site about how BMW is really guarding the release of information and images about the "2".

I think it's because they are going to stage manage this model like no other in recent history.


Having said all that...I love the new "3" coupe...(I hope this doesn't seem blasphemous) & think they've done a fabulous job on it...maybe my favorite current production car...& soon to be on U.S. roads.
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      07-25-2006, 08:01 PM   #8
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Good discussion here.

spudwest: totally agree with you, bmw needs that cheaper more-bare-bones car to entice first time bmw owners... and then they can gradually move up through all the different series and variations bmw has now (and willl have in the future with their crossover cars, etc..).

brookside: that's a great prediction actually, the 2002 coupe would be a great marketing tool and give bmw a way to link a totally new model with something more historical.
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      07-25-2006, 08:19 PM   #9
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Great convo going here, but let me play devil's advocate for a second.

You must remember that the last small, simple, entry level car BMW introduced in the states, the 318ti, was a complete flop in every respect. True, it was simply a underwhelming product, but you have to remember that this is probaly weighing on their minds greatly.

Then you see how the A3 is doing here. Not too great. Most months are bagging less than 700-800 total sales with two models which is pretty much horrible for the car's price range. Sure, the car has hardly been marketed (people do not know about it). But, that car is a great car to drive and it still has only been met with a modest market reaction. I think it even may won a MT car of the year class (entry level luxory), but still not many people buy.

I have no doubt the 2 (or 1) will be sweet. I also think that it will sell. But for the latter to happen, BMW has to make sure that the car LOOKS like a BMW inside and out. It must have quality and luxory from the outset (something that the 2002 really did not have), or it could risk looking like a "poor mans" BMW, instead of the lightweight, basic reincarnation of the 2002 that we know it as (this would be fatal IMO). Image is so important in the states (more than anyother major luxory market IMO) that BMW is probally giving itself fits making sure the quality (in materials) AND performance are both there for a reasonable price.

The next few months (hopefully) will tell alot IMO. But then again, I have been thinking that for every "couple" month span for the past two years....
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      07-25-2006, 08:26 PM   #10
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There really isn't any competition in my opinion, and that's why I'm hoping they move quickly.

Most of the cars being suggested are either front wheel drive, hatchbacks or both.

Honestly, the closest thing to what I expect from the 2-series coupe might be a 350Z, and that car is overweight and deficient in a few other areas that I think the 2 will shine in.

Can anyone name a small, rear wheel drive coupe other than the 350? I've been looking for one and damned if I can find it.
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      07-25-2006, 09:57 PM   #11
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I've heard people complain about the A3's prices- you can run it up very quickly...for example the 3.2 liter V6 with Quattro + Sat/Nav and the premium package msrp's for just a tad under 40k!
At this price you are in A4 territory...just a bad price-overlap by Audi. And no, I don't see them on the road when I'm driving around either. Also, if you were to opt for the 4 cyl. engine it is available only with fwd...no quattro...which pretty much defeats the whole purpose of getting an Audi.

As for the 350Z...I drove one over a weekend before getting my Z4...and I loved it except for the absolute lack of trunkspace, and the interior was pretty chintzy...looked ok, but poor fit and finish on the one I had.I understand that Nissan has gone in and uppgraded the interior but I don't know what they can do about the lack of storage.

I agree that BMW will have the market to themselves for maybe a season or so while other manufacturers play catch-up. I am totally behind Longhorn TX...BMW has to get the "2" right...from the moment of introduction. Especially in the U.S. where people's tastes seem so fickle and fleeting. And I think it would be a big mistake to market the car as a "baby Bimmer." Much better to put it out there as the embodiment of what BMW is about...something that's boiled down to it's essence- cutting-edge design and incredible handling in a premium product that retains it's value because of German parts and build quality.
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      07-26-2006, 08:38 AM   #12
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Totally agree that they have to get it right. We have an emerging segment in the luxury compacts, but it is far from mature and even further from homogenous.

BMW needs to make the same statement in this segment as Mazda made in 1989 to spark the roadster segment. They got it absolutely right. And 17 years later, the Miata is fundamentally the same car and still inspires passion and has a huge following.

BMW is the master of all the elements of the formula: rwd, 50:50 weight dist., sublime handling, cutting edge styling, high quality. And the observation that there's nothing out there right now that hits on all the fundamentals is absolutely true; some examples:

B200: Merc quality, but not too sporty and fwd
GTI: great performer, good looks, but fwd and vw quality
A3: in my view, totally uninspired, fwd and loses out to the GTI in outright value for $$$
Mini Cooper: fun to drive, nice to look at, but underpowered, quirky, fwd, and the interior has quality issues.

For all the good offerings out there, nothing currently offers the rwd, handling, power, style and quality all in one package. This is where BMW comes in with a the 2.

You read it here first: the 2 could be to the luxury sport compact segment what Miata was to the affordable roadster...
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      07-29-2006, 09:38 AM   #13
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What competition would 2 series target????

This looks like serious competition


"170 PS, 230 km/h, 25.000 Euro – soweit die Eckdaten des neuen VW Scirocco. Starttermin ist Anfang 2008."



"Der Scirocco ist ein Kombi-Coupé mit breiter Klappe, großem Gepäckabteil und variablem Innenraum."text/photos: AutoBild



This last jpg I found while doing an image search...don't know what the provenance is...but, interesting despite the Audi-esque grille.

The Huckfeldt/AutoBild jpgs have been around for 6 months or so. Uhmm, absolutely stunning I would say.
Especially if VW gets it's production gremlins solved by the time the Scirocco is introduced. I can imagine all the old-school Scirocco guys going bonkers over the news that this is in VW's plans. However, if this is running on the Jetta platform then it's fwd...and there goes superior driving/handling charecteristics out the window.
And, a reminder, VW/Audi is absolutely notorious for leading it's customers down the garden path with the promise of upcoming models, only to cancel or radically amend them at the last moment...
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      07-29-2006, 02:31 PM   #14
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Not bad at all. I hope more and more companies are actually brave enough to produce aggressive looking cars.
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      07-29-2006, 08:06 PM   #15
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Unfortunately the third shot looks more production friendly. It seems to have a snout that is more inline with EU crash standard (i.e. for pedestrian safety). It's an altogether more watered down version of the red concept car. The red version would be much more exiting.

Looks as though it would be thin on trunk space, despit being a hatch.

I'm looking forward to a proper 2-door coupe in the"2".
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      08-02-2006, 11:32 AM   #16
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VW Chief Wolfgang Bernhard is finally putting some flesh into his promise to introduce 10 new VW-branded vehicles by the end of the decade, even though some models haven't been determined.
One that's made the cut for the 2008 model year is a "new Scirocco," a reprise of the much-loved 1974-1992 Golf-based hatchback coupes.

One difficulty facing VW is to separate the new Scirocco from Audi's next TT, especially if Audi decides to import the Shooting Brake version to the U.S.
The TT uses the same mechanical matrix, but it's likely the VW will have more rear-seat space than the TT. Practicality was always a hallmark of the Scirocco line.

The top version will run the Golf R32's driveline, which means a 247-horse, narrow-angle V-6, DSG six-speed gearbox, and 4Motion all-wheel drive. It'll run 155 mph and 0-to-60 mph in about 6.0-seconds flat. Engines for the U.S. will begin with the 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo four with at least 200 horsepower and front drive. The engine is already available in Europe with 220 horses.
Motor Trend August/2006
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      08-02-2006, 01:01 PM   #17
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Sounds like 230i territory. I agree VW/Audi will have to be careful to differentiate from the TT, as thus far, the TT has been a very distinct product. Also, the specs on the Scirocco suggest it my be in the low 3-series/A4 price point. VW have had some difficulty getting the maket to imagine them as a high-end marque and, as good as the Scirocco may be, they will be compared to brands, BMW especially, that have more favorable connotations. If a 230i with similar specs is competitively priced against the Scirocco, I see an easy choice.

This, of course, assumes that a 230i would also be priced in the low 3-series range.
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      08-02-2006, 04:47 PM   #18
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I'm no fan of Volkswagen...
However,if it looks like this


& has this "The top version will run the Golf R32's driveline, which means a 247-horse, narrow-angle V-6, DSG six-speed gearbox, and 4Motion all-wheel drive."
and goes like this "It'll run 155 mph and 0-to-60 mph in about 6.0-seconds flat."
then it's serious competition.
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