The first-ever BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe: A technological tour de force
In an era where our vehicles are more connected than ever, a compact executive vehicle needs to provide technology at the cutting edge of its segment, something which the latest BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe manages to achieve. Let's take a look at the various systems available in this all-new niche model from BMW.
The exterior alludes to its tech-laden interior with full-LED lighting technology, providing excellent visibility, regardless of the prevailing conditions while various sensors are well hidden for keen observers to spot the on-board driver assistance technologies.
Stepping inside the Gran Coupe, one is greeted by the very latest iDrive technology from the Bavarian brand, featuring the optional BMW Operating System 7.0. There are various options available, however, at the very pinnacle of the range, there are two 10.25-inches screens on offer. The top-spec fully digitised instrument cluster is called the BMW Live Cockpit Professional and adds navigation to the system in addition to an upgraded central display.
There are many ways with which the driver can operate the infotainment system within the Gran Coupe. Models specified with the flagship Live Cockpit Professional can be operated via gesture control, by buttons on the steering wheel, by touch on the 10.25-inch central display, by using the iDrive touchpad or by voice command.
The aforementioned gesture control allows for seven different gestures to be used to control various commands, with five predetermined gestures from BMW and two that can be assigned to a function by the user.
The optional Live Cockpit Professional also adds the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant which is an artificial intelligence (AI) system developed by BMW. This technology will store driver preferences and preferred settings and make use of these in various driving situations. As an assistant, the system can help find destinations, avoid traffic, select media and is even able to engage in casual conversation or tell a joke upon the user's request.
The assistance system will be updated throughout the life of the vehicle, and thanks to BMW ConnectedDrive, this can be done remotely, much like your smartphone. Speaking of smartphones, the Gran Coupe offers standard Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay functionality, with an over-the-air addition of Android Auto compatibility set to be introduced in the near future.
Since many a modern human is perpetually glued to their respective smartphones, BMW has introduced a new system that works in conjunction with the BMW Digital Key. With the Digital Key, Android phone users can connect their device to the key using Near Field Communication (NFC), allowing their phones to become the car key. Once the smartphone has been placed safely in the optional wireless charging or standard smartphone tray, the vehicle will start.
The multimedia iDrive system and optional Live Cockpit can be specified with a 9.2-inch Head-Up Display which projects configurable driving information on to the windscreen, allowing the driver to maintain focus on the road at all times.
As mentioned previously, the exterior of 2 Series Gran Coupe models fitted with the latest driver assistance technologies will have various cameras, radars and ultrasonic sensors which gather information and allow the vehicle to provide assistance. The options for driver assistance systems in the Gran Coupe include Lane Departure Warning system with active lane return, Active Cruise Control with a stop and go function as well as Driving Assist, which includes Lane Change Warning, rear collision warning and crossing traffic warning.
Another assistance system available comes in the form of low-speed parking assistance. The Gran Coupe can be specified with Park Distance Control (PDC) and Parking Assist which includes a rear-view camera. The latter is the flagship system and will autonomously navigate the car into a parking space that is either parallel or perpendicular to the road. This technology is also able to get the car out of a given parking space, provided it is a parallel parking scenario. Another option is the reversing assist, which works by storing the final 50 metres of forward movement before the car enters a parking spot, at a maximum of 36 km/h. The system then replicates the path stored, in reverse, at a maximum of 9 km/h.
Retail pricing (inclusive of VAT, excluding CO2 tax)
218i – R 515 000
220d – R 595 000
M235i xDrive – R 725 000