Once upon a time, BMW's badge numbers referred to engine displacement. The 328i used to have a 2.8-liter engine, for example. But because engines are downsizing and buyers simply can't buy a new car with a smaller badge number, that taxonomy has largely fallen by the wayside. Case in point: the 2017 BMW 2 Series.
For 2017, BMW's rounded up to the next five for each of its 2 Series badges. The 228i is now the 230i, and the hopped-upis now the M240i. Does it relate to engine displacement? Nope! Does it even correlate to other models, like the 3 Series? Nope! (The 330i is a hybrid, confusingly enough.) If this doesn't make any sense to you, don't worry, you're not the only one.
While engines have nothing to do with badges any more, both the 230i and M240i feature updated power plants. The 230i now puts out 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, a gain of 8 and 3, respectively. The M240i now puts out 335 horsepower (up 15) and 369 torques (up 39). Whether opting for the eight-speed automatic or the six-speed manual, acceleration is improved across the board.
The M240i comes with more than just a fancy-pants engine. It also features a sport suspension with a 10-millimeter drop, 18-inch alloy wheels with uber-sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, upgraded brakes and steering, as well as a unique aero package. The M240i's six-speed manual also offers rev-matching downshifts, and the eight-speed slushbox comes with launch control.
BMW has not released any pricing information yet, but the cars go on sale this summer, so we'll likely receive more information soon.