BMW knows how to fill a niche, with the original X6 tapping into a market many people hadn’t imagined existed in the first place. The new X4 proves the coupe-crossover works on a smaller scale, and BMW is planning to release a new sporty coupe SUV based on the next-generation X1.
It’ll be called the BMW X2 and is likely to be offered as a three or five-door – like the 1 Series. As with all future small BMWs, the X2 will sit on the UKL1 platform used by the new MINI and 2 Series Active Tourer, and set to underpin the next X1 and 1 Series. As a result, the car will be available with front or four-wheel-drive – current sDrive X1s are rear-driven.
The styling has all the hallmarks of BMW’s ‘Sport Activity Coupe’ cars, including the sloping roofline and pumped-up wheelarches. But as part of a new generation of BMWs, it’ll get elements of the latest design language. We’ve seen this on cars like the Vision Luxury Concept, and it’ll be rolled out to production cars starting with the new 7 Series later this year. As our exclusive image shows, it’s focused round narrow, angular headlights, sharp creases and an enlarged double kidney grille.
Power will come from a wide range of engines, with performance fans likely to be drawn by a 300bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder BMW is thought to be working on. This range-topping X2 would rival the Mercedes GLA 45 AMG and Audi RS Q3.
Petrol buyers on a smaller budget will be more interested in the 1.5-litre turbo currently used in the 218i Active Tourer, which delivers 136bhp. But most models sold will be diesels, with 1.5-litre three-cylinders and a 2.0 four-cylinder.
When BMW showcased the UKL1 platform in the Concept Active Tourer, a 1.5 three-cylinder drove the front wheels and an electric motor powered the rears. With this kind of four-wheel-drive hybrid system possible, a plug-in hybrid version is likely, promising 100mpg-plus.
Expect to see the next-generation X1 in showrooms early in 2016, with the X2 following the year after.