• BMW 2 Series will start at $33,025; M235i at $44,025
  • Expected to go on sale in the first quarter of 2014
  • Convertible model not yet announced but should be on its way

BMW has officially announced pricing for its upcoming 2 Series. The compact 2-door coupe, set to replace the brand's aging 1 Series, will start at $33,025 with shipping when it reaches dealers during the first quarter of 2014.

According to BMW, that pricing figure is for the 228i, which will serve as the lineup's base model. It's an increase of $600 over the current 128i, which uses the same 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that will be standard fare in the 228i. Like the 128i, the 228i is expected to offer a choice between 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions.

For shoppers who want more power, BMW is also offering the M235i. Yes, that's with an "M." And BMW says the M235i is the "first BMW M Performance Automobile to be offered in the United States." Think of it as halfway between a standard BMW and one of the brand's high-performance M (for Motorsport) vehicles, such as the M3 or M5.

Under the M235i model's hood, shoppers will find a 315-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder. That's the same engine from today's 135i, though BMW has tuned it for 15 extra horsepower in the M235i. The M235i also boasts several M performance upgrades to distinguish it from a standard model, such as an M Sport braking system and Adaptive M sport suspension for improved handling.

And what do all those M goodies cost? BMW says the M235i starts at $44,025 with shipping -- a whopping $3,500 more than today's 135i. In fact, the M235i is closer in price to the current 135is, which starts at $44,475. The 135is model is a sportier version of the standard 135i that includes a sport suspension and a 320-hp version of the 135i model's engine.

With the 2 Series pricing and photos having been announced, BMW fans likely have just one more question on their minds: Where's the convertible? Today's 1 Series lineup is offered as either a 2-door coupe or a 2-door convertible with a power-operated soft-top. For now, BMW isn't saying anything about a drop-top 2 Series, but our guess is that we'll see the model just in time to enjoy a long summer of open-top cruising.

What it means to you: The latest BMW 2 Series offers a sporty take on the growing compact luxury car world.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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