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BMW unveils a 2 Series Gran Coupe to go head to head with the Mercedes CLA

BMW has added to its coupe line-up with a four-door 2 Series Gran Coupe with a choice of sporty trims and engines.

The sleek Mercedes CLA rival is the latest in an outbreak of coupes at the Bavarian motor giant, including the bigger 8 Series Gran Coupe.

It’s drawn from the BMW 1 Series hatchback, much in the same way as the CLA comes from the Mercedes A-Class hatch.

Coupes have sleek, swept-back styling, a sloping roofline, two doors (usually) and tend to sit at the top of a car’s range.

For BMW, the term Gran Coupe means a coupe that’s a little bigger and more sedan-sized (hence the four doors).

BMW began rolling out its Gran Coupes in 2012 with the 6 Series Gran Coupe. That was followed two years later by the 4 Series, and then the 8 Series last year.

You’ll recognise the 2 Series Gran Coupe from its coupe silhouette and frameless side windows for the four doors.

It’s 4,526mm long and 1,800mm wide, but just 1,420mm tall. Despite its low-slung appearance, the 2,670mm wheelbase leaves plenty of room for passengers in the cabin.

As on BMW coupes from higher up the range, the one-piece kidney grille adopts a sleek design which extends almost the full width between the headlights.

The kidney bars are contoured with a vertical indentation, providing a three-dimensional effect on M Sport models with Aluminium satinated finish.

The flagship – the BMW M235i xDrive M Performance – is recognisable from an exclusive grille design featuring pronounced three-dimensional mesh with a Cerium grey finish in place of the classical bars.

The outer air intakes are also larger on the M235i xDrive and once again feature the Cerium grey finish.

Full-LED headlights are standard and can be specced as an option in adaptive form. The back-end features 90mm dual chrome exhaust tailpipes (single on the 218i models, rather sadly), while the BMW M235i xDrive features free-form design tailpipe trims.

For now, it’s offered with just three engine choices – two petrol and one diesel. A 1.5 litre three-cylinder unit powers the 218i to 140hp. Official fuel economy is up to 47mpg.

The diesel option is a 2.0 litre unit with 190hp and economy of up to 57mpg.

Of course, the M235i xDrive has the best powerplant, deploying a 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol set-up with 306hp, four-wheel drive and 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds. All that power, naturally, reduces fuel economy down to a rather disappointing 37mpg max.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe currently comes in three trim levels: Sport, M Sport and M Performance M235i xDrive.

The Sport model comes with plenty of standard features including 17-inch alloys, front & rear Park Distance Control, two-zone automatic air-con, BMW Connected Package Plus, BMW Live Cockpit Plus and Active Guard Plus with Lane Departure Warning.

M Sport adds 18-inch alloys, M Sport Suspension, M Aerodynamic body-styling, M Sport steering, electric folding mirrors, extended lighting, Digital Cockpit Professional, BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and BMW Connected Package Professional.

Those who opt for the M235i xDrive get exclusive Cerium grey 18-inch alloys, M235i specific M Sport suspension, rear spoiler, M Performance exhaust system, Limited Slip Differential on the front axle and eight-speed sport automatic transmission featuring launch control.

As you’d expect, the latest BMW tech, operating system and driver assists are all offered.

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe range is priced from £25,815 to £37,255 and is on sale now.

Belfast Telegraph