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The Return of the 2 Cupholder Console (New is not always better)

At some point in 2000, BMW started including a 2 Cupholder console option in Z3 coupes and roadsters. This brought the total number of console options up to a whopping 6!! The new Cupholder had three slots in the front to hold quarters, nickels and dimes. It had 2 cupholders, with the forward one containing a removable ring that would allow for those mega cups we Americans love. In addition, the console had a nice storage area to keep things in the cabin tidy.

 

When Jon and I saw the console, we knew it presented a great opportunity to design a product that would allow form and function to work together to make driving a more enjoyable experience. At Homecoming, Jon and I sketched (in crayon!) the first seed of the idea that became the Mark2 Armrest on the tablecloth of a Macaroni Grill.

In 2005, BMW started showing signs that the 2 Cupholder console might go away.  In order to keep offering a complete option to customers, we decided to offer our own console option. The Large Storage Base Console was designed to maximized storage and offer an alternative to the BMW 2 Cupholder.

Sometime in 2013 or 2014, BMW stopped selling the 2 Cupholder console all together. The part went No Longer Available (NLA).

Magically, BMW has made a NEW 2 Cupholder console.

While most of the New 2 Cupholder console is almost identical to the old version, it does have some differences. Most noticeable is the lack of coin slots in the front of the console. This decision was done either for cost or for the lack of coin use in the modern economy. In addition, while the Original console had a textured finish, the new console has a smooth finish. Other than those 2 things, the cupholders and the storage area remain the same dimensions as those found in the Original 2 Cupholder console.

I haven't spent a lot of time checking angles or radii, but the overall design is pretty close to the original BMW console.

Why I do not recommend the New Cupholder

Where the two differ is in the execution of the part. The New Cupholder is VERY FRAGILE! I have broken two simply installing them in the center console and I personally modify each one to get the front of the cupholder to fit in the center console of the Z3. The other failure of the part is in the material they used. It is a considerably weaker plastic than the original BMW part and is prone to cracking. When a Mark2 Armrest is installed on this cupholder, if you put weight on the armrest, the cupholder will break. I have sold thousands of the Original 2 Cupholder Base and our Large Storage Base armrests with the Mark2 installed and the failure rates are 0. No kidding, I have not had any failures with the cupholder breaking, cracking or just falling apart. In the few months that the New 2 Cupholder has been available from BMW, I have seen around 30% break. A lot of the failures is the front tab that locks in the front edge of the cupholder. The other failure area is when weight is applied to the cupholder.

Avoid the New 2 Cupholder Base, please purchase a Large Storage Base or get one of the few Original 2 Cupholder Bases I have left. 

We are now offering the Mark2 Armrest with in 4 Versions: 

Here are some details of the two 2 Cupholder Bases available:



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  • Dennis Smith on

    Hi,

    I have a Z3, non M and it has the two cup holder with coins. I’m interested in your large base storage with the two cup holder. Question is, the cup holders don’t hold any cup that I have. I don’t have anything extra large, just standard stuff. I have those metal coffee containers and only one fits it. However, it only goes in halfway and sticks up higher. Which gets in the way while shifting.

    Does your verse hold the cups any better?


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