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BMW M240i: Lives up to legacy

BY RORY DALEY
Observer writer

Friday, May 24, 2019

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The 2019 BMW M240i lives up to its mandate of providing the ultimate driving experience. This is attained by a powerful sonorous inline six-cylinder mounted at the front of a small light coupé body, driving the rear wheels.

Walk around the BMW M240i and its muscular lines make it an attractive two-door coupé. Enter, and one is greeted with a very driver-focused interior containing the standard BMW conveniences, the usual M Performance touches to give it that special feel. A big clue to the car's ethos is the manual handbrake.

BMW makes some of best performance seats in the business. The powered ones in the M240i drops occupants in a low driver-oriented position from which to grip the lovely leather wrapped steering wheel and observe the large, clean primary analogue gauges. All controls are easily within reach, as are the abundant storage areas for the essentials items. A single lever allows rear seat access. The quiet refined interior compliments the ECO and COMFORT driving modes, delivering effortless low-speed cruising while listening to the great stereo system with all the connectivity the iDrive infotainment system offers.

However, the true nature of the M240i can't be hidden. Its ability to provide bursts of speed for holes in traffic or the occasional thump from the firm suspension intruding in the cabin all make sense once SPORT mode is engaged. The switch is instant, allowing the full force of the engine's 335bhp and towering 369lb/ft of torque through the eight-speed transmission to rocket it forward to 60mph in 4.4 seconds. Those not shocked by rapid acceleration can hit the maximum velocity of 155mph should there be sufficient road. These are big league numbers, yet are only half of the picture.

Agility is next. Spurred on by the infectious growl of the inline six, one can head to their favourite piece of road.

On the highway, the Germanic high speed stability is there. Narrow, curvy country lanes bring forward the M240i's handling dynamics. This is not a car for the ham-fisted. It takes time to learn and trust what the BMW will do, like a horse and rider. Once in both are in sync, the M240i can be put through whatever driving paces the person at the wheel wishes. Accelerate hard, stomp on the massive brakes to scrub off speed, choose a line through the corner and wait for the chassis to settle. When the grip levels are telegraphed, get back on the power smoothly to slingshot onto the next challenge. Otherwise press the accelerator pedal hard, while adding a bit of steering opposite lock to exit the corner sideways in heroic blaze of tyre smoke. Either way, the M240i will put a smile on any true driving enthusiast's face.

Once done, slip back into ECO or COMFORT and fellow motorists will be none the wary of the shenanigans the M240i is capable of.

FINAL WORD

MODEL: 2019 BMW M240i
ENGINE: 3-litre inline six-cylinder turbo — 335bhp/369lb/ft
DRIVETRAIN: 8-speed automatic/rear-wheel drive
SUMMARY: Big league performance from BMW's smallest coupe.
PRICE: $9m


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