There’s a numbers game being played at BMW – and it’s going to result in a shake-up of the way the firm’s models are badged. Bosses in Munich are rumoured to be launching an all-new name: the 2 Series. And it could sit on the back of this striking coupe.
The car is set to debut in 2013, and will be based on the recently launched second-generation 1 Series. It effectively supersedes the current 1 Series Coupe. A Convertible version is also planned, as is a flagship high-performance M2. The latter will replace the limited-edition 1 Series M Coupe.
The move to add another model designation will allow BMW to separate the sportier 1 Series-based models from the regular five-doors, allowing them to move further upmarket.
Marking out the newcomer from the hatch is a sleeker look, with the latest 1 Series nose allied to wider wheelarches and a steeply raked roofline. Plus, the 2 Series will be tuned to offer sportier handling. As with the current 1 Series Convertible, the new drop-top is likely to get an electric folding canvas roof.
Engines will be shared with the 1 Series, and will include the 1.6-litre TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit, which currently offers up to 170bhp in the 118i. Among the diesel options will be a revised 2.0-litre, delivering up to 181bhp.
However, an uprated 3.0-litre straight-six-cylinder turbo petrol engine is on the cards for the 1 and 2 Series. This will deliver between 250bhp and 350bhp.
The new 2 Series models are not the only rebadged BMWs on the cards. There are rumours that the company will apply a similar strategy to the 3 Series, renaming the Coupe and Convertible as the 4 Series.
A few weeks ago we revealed that the new badge is set to grace the forthcoming GT hatch – but it appears the 4 Series tag could be saved for just the Coupé and drop-top variants. BMW is following Audi, which has set the A5 Coupe, Cabriolet and hatch apart from the regular A4 line-up.
Versions of the all-new 4 Series are still some way away. The next-generation 3 Series doesn’t go on sale until early next year, after debuting at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, so other models based on this platform aren’t likely to arrive until 2013.
Further up the range, the 6 Series line-up is expanding with a new four-seater, four-door coupe based on the Gran Coupe concept. This is due in showrooms next year.
The rebadging strategy, which sees even numbers refer to sporty derivatives, also leaves the door open for a return of the 8 Series name, last used on BMW’s flagship Nineties coupe.