BMW has officially released details of its new two-door coupe, the BMW 2 Series, which is set to arrive in UK showrooms from March 2014.

The new 2 Series is BMW’s replacement for the 1 Series coupe.  The new model retains its predecessor’s rear wheel-drive layout.

It’s larger in most directions than the model it replaces, however – it’s 72mm longer, 26mm wider, and sits on a 30mm longer wheelbase with a wider track (by 41mm at the front and 43mm at the rear).

As a result, internal space sees a boost, with 19mm extra headroom in the front and 21mm more legroom in the rear.  The boot capacity rises by 20 litres to 390 litres, and the opening is wider, too.

The rear seat split-folds 60:40, with a three-way 40:20:40 folding seat available as an option.

The external design includes all the usual BMW hallmarks, such as the Hofmeister kink and the kidney grille which slants forward slightly like BMWs of the past.

From launch, two petrol engines plus one diesel engine will be available.

The 220i produces 184hp and 270Nm and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds.  It can also achieve 44.8mpg on the combined cycle and emits 148 g/km of CO2.

The diesel option, the 220d, produces an identical 184hp but much more torque – 380Nm, in fact – but with similar performance of 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds.  Economy sees a boost with 58.9mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 125 g/km.

The range-topping M235i boasts a not inconsiderable 326hp and 450Nm of torque, enough to propel it to 62mph in 5.0 seconds.  Specify the optional eight-speed automatic transmission which features Launch Control and that figure drops to 4.8 seconds.  The automatic model is also more economical, recording 37.2mpg versus the manual’s 34.9mpg.  CO2 emissions are 189 and 176 g/km for the manual and auto models respectively.

The M235i thankfully also features an upgraded braking system and BMW’s variable sport steering, as well as specially tuned spring and damper rates.

Two further diesel models – a 2.0-litre four-cylinder 218d and six-cylinder 225d will follow later.

Four trim levels will be available – SE, Sport, Modern and M Sport.  All models feature remote locking, height adjustable front seats with easy entry function, 6.5-inch colour display with iDrive controller, six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, multi-function steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dipping rear-view mirror and parking radar.

Sport models add sport seats, not surprisingly, plus black gloss interior trim, while Modern adds part-leather upholstery and Dark Pearl interior trim.

M Sport models include M Sport suspension featuring a 10mm reduction in ride height, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, changes to interior and exterior trim detailing and part-Alcantara upholstery.

On the options list are electrically adjustable and heated seats, Xenon headlights and an electric glass sunroof, among other goodies.

Prices start at £25,040 for the BMW 220i SE, £25,865 for the 220d SE and £34,250 for the M235i.