The BMW M240i isn't a car that one would categorize as green. It's a slightly more civilized sibling to the M2, and, as is appropriate, the focus is on performance. It's exceptionally fun to drive, and making full use of the turbo-six is pure joy. Even so, BMW decided to include its EfficientDynamics technology in this fiery sports coupe, which includes a mild hybrid system with automatic stop-start and an clutched alternator that runs mostly during coasting. It also includes a more economical drive mode called Eco Pro, which seems like the sort of feature that would go largely unused by a fair number of owners of this lively Bimmer. As the resident green dork here at Autoblog, it seemed only proper, though, to give the M240i's eco features their due attention. At the top of the list is probably the automatic stop-start, as it's usually the first to rear its head once you're behind the wheel. In this car, it's definitely noticeable when this potent engine starts up again, but it does do swiftly, and I never felt the urge to turn stop-start off completely. The green highlight, though, is the Eco Pro mode, selectable from the same toggle you'd use to choose the more aggressive Sport modes. In Eco Pro, the 2 Series gets a fair bit slower. Throttle response is dimmer, making it a lot easier to drive smoother and more conservatively, especially when accelerating away from a stop. In a lot of vehicles, this means that no matter how hard you step on the right pedal, your acceleration is governed. While that's great for saving gas, it's less than ideal when you need to pull out into a small hole in traffic when turning onto a busy street, or when the semi you're passing decides to move into your lane. Mercifully in the BMW, pushing the pedal past its gate overrides the Eco mode's throttle limitations and allows you to make those (potentially life-or-death) maneuvers at a second's notice. You also don't need to switch to a more aggressive mode to make that turn into high-speed traffic. The car includes a convenient coaching tool that is also refreshingly non-invasive, clear, and simple. It's just a little bar (or slight arc, if we want to get specific) along the bottom of the tachometer. A little slider shows, vaguely, how much power you're using or how much energy you're regenerating. The whole bar turns grey when you're not driving efficiently, and back to blue when you are. Additionally, it gives you a readout between the gauges that shows how much added range you've earned by driving like a good boy. That simple approach, with an easily understood quantifier, makes your smoothness on the pedal feel like it has real world results. In our drive, we turned on Eco Pro mode about halfway home, and managed to rack up an extra 0.6 miles of driving range over a short distance. The next morning, one quick rip down a rural …
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|MPG||21 City / 31 Hwy|
|Transmission||8-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||335 @ 5500 rpm|
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