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BMW introduces new 2 Series Gran Coupe as an entry-level model, on sale in March

The 2 Series Gran Coupe is not a coupe, but rather a four-door sedan with a graded roof.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW continues to call four-door vehicles coupes and give them larger and larger grilles. That holds true for its new 2 Series Gran Coupe, a performance-focused model that anchors the German automaker's lineup.

The model will come in two variants: 228i xDrive Gran Coupe and M235i xDrive Gran Coupe. Both models come standard with all-wheel drive.

Its hood and trunk are made of aluminum and body components are made of high-strength steel. The BMW M235i xDrive get additional structural equipment including strut tower tie bar and bracing on the front axle subframe and in the tunnel area as well as an anti-roll bar mounting with high preload. It also has a sport suspension and the M Sport steering.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran CoupeThe grille on the BMW is large and not particularly attractive from many angles.Photo courtesy of BMW

The car's exterior is marked not only by its large grille but also its frameless windows and a wide stance. It also has standard full-LED headlights with hexagonal tube daytime running lights. At the back are an upswept trunk and dual 90mm chrome exhaust tips.

BMW has given the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe the company's signature sport black exterior accent treatment. The M235i xDrive Gran Coupe features a Cerium Grey finish for the Mesh Kidney grille surround and raised nuggets, front air inlet surrounds, side sill inserts, mirror caps and free form tailpipe finishers.

The 228i xDrive Gran Coupe will be powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It has a zero to 60 mph time of 6.0 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph when running on all-season tires. It can get to 151 mph on performance tires.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran CoupeOut back, the car mostly has business as BMW usual.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW has given the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe standard 17-inch multi-spoke wheels with 225/45R17 all-season runflat tires. The M235i xDrive comes standard with 18-inch M double-spoke wheels with 225/40R18 all-season runflat tires. Both models are available in a variety of 17-, 18-, or 19-inch wheel/tire combinations.

The more powerful M235i xDrive Gran Coupe gets 301 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque from its tuned 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It can nget to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.7 seconds (4.6 with optional boost functionality). The car has a top speed of 155 mph when equipped with performance tires.

M Sport brakes are available as an option on the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe and are standard on the M235i xDrive model.

BMW has given both models Comfort, Eco, and Sport modes. The more powerful model has launch control and available adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran CoupeOpting for the sportier model gets the buyer richer accents on the exterior of the vehicle.Photo courtesy of BMW

The car shares a near-actuator wheel slip limitation system with the BMW i3. The system's position under the car allows for a relay between the wheels and slip controller that is three times quicker inn detecting slip and getting the car's mechanics to intervene.

BMW has outfitted the model in premium features including a standard backlit interior trim and grain effects on the steering wheel, instrument panel, and doors and contrast seams on the dashboard. Technical Orbis graining is used on the driver's side in the cockpit area while leather-like Verona graining features on the passenger side, the two separated by contrast diagonal stitching, depending on the equipment line specified.

The car comes standard with an 8.6-inch infotainment screen. An 8.6-inch digital instrument display is standard and a 10.25 digital instrument cluster is available. The buyers select the large digital cluster, the infotainment screen is upgraded to a 10.25-incher. A full-color 9.2-inch BMW head-up display is also available.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran CoupeAmbient light options allow for a level of interior customization.Photo courtesy of BMW

Among the special personalized details available as part of the available Live Cockpit Professional system is the Welcome Scenario, which greets the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe driver when they enter their vehicle. The driver's user settings, including seat, air conditioning and radio settings are saved to a profile via vehicle key and pin code.

Drivers can interact with their system with via gesture control or the "Hey BMW" function, which allows drivers to use various vehicle functionality without having to take their hands off the wheel.

The standard BMW Stereo sound system includes ten speakers and a 205-watt amplifier. The optional Harman Kardon surround sound system enhances the audio experience with 16-speakers and 464 watts of audio power.

The German automaker has given the 2 Series nearly the same legroom as what is found in the 3 Series. It also has a 15.1 cubic foot trunk and a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat.

2020 BMW 2 Series Gran CoupeBMW says that the 2 Series has nearly as much legroom in the second row as the 3 Series.Photo courtesy of BMW

The new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupes come standard with power Sport seats covered in standard Oyster/Black Sensatec or Black Sensatec on the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe. Dakota leather is standard on the M235i xDrive Gran Coupe in either Magma Red, Mocha, Black with Blue highlights or Oyster.

The car's standard Active Driving Assistant technology includes forward collision warning with City Collisionn Mitigation, blind spot detection, daytime pedestrian protection, and lane departure warning. Additional standard and available features include parking distance alert and back-up assist, which is able to assisting with parallel parking.

Production of the 2 Series Gran Coupe started in November and it will begin arriving at dealerships in March. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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The Supra finally gets a manual transmission for 2023.

Toyota

After an almost nonstop chorus of enthusiasts and journalists asking for a manual transmission in the new Supra, Toyota has gone and done it. The car will get an available six-speed manual transmission that will be available on both variants of the GR Supra 3.0, plus a limited-edition model on the U.S. market next year.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTToyota had to modify the car's interior for the new gearbox. Toyota

The A91-MT Edition Supra will be limited to 500 units, and gets two exterior colors with an exclusive Cognac leather interior. All 2023 Supras come with a 3.0-liter straight-six engine that makes 382 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of torque. Toyota says the six-speed manual has been specially tuned to work with the car's engine, and notes that it modified an existing transmission housing to come up with the design. The gearbox's final drive ratio is shortened to improve response and take-off.

Toyota had to modify the car's interior to accommodate a gearshift lever, so the iDrive controller and other buttons had to be relocated. The automaker says that it focused on the feeling of shifting, from the weight of the knob to the ergonomics and location of the component.

2023 Toyota Supra 3.0 MTThe limited-edition A91-MT trim gets an exclusive cognac leather interior.Toyota

A Supra with a manual gearbox is reason to celebrate, but availability is limited to the top Supra 3.0. The "base" Supra 2.0 won't get the transmission. Toyota says pricing and other information will be available later this year.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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