New 2021 BMW 2 Series Coupe spotted in less camouflage

BMW’s next-generation 2 Series Coupe is undergoing final development, with these new spy shots offering our best look yet at its styling

The launch date for the next-generation BMW 2 Series Coupe is drawing closer, which means the camouflage is steadily being removed from the development cars, giving us our best look yet at the new compact coupe’s styling.

BMW’s latest small two-door is due to make its debut later this year, rivalling everything from the Audi TT to sportier cars such as the forthcoming Toyota GR 86.

BMW will aim the new 2 Series Coupe squarely at the driving enthusiast, offering rear-wheel drive, while there’ll be a sporty M2 with a straight-six turbocharged petrol engine at the top of the line-up.

These latest spy shots offer our best look yet at the new BMW 2 Series Coupe’s styling. The car’s proportions give it a sleeker look than its predecessor, with the new car featuring a longer bonnet, a more sharply shoulder line and a low, tapered roof.

Rather than aping the front-end styling of the larger 4 Series Coupe, the new 2 Series Coupe will have a more moderate design language, which appears to have been influenced by the X2 SUV.

BMW has kept the coupe’s kidney grilles to a sensible size and borrowed elements of the crossover’s aggressive front bumper design. The headlamps look to be a similar shape to the X2’s, although the rear bumper and lights are completely unique to the coupe.

New 2021 BMW 2 Series Coupe: engine and platform

The arrival of the new coupe means the 2 Series model range will become even more diverse. It’ll sit alongside the four-door 2 Series Gran Coupe and the firm’s duo of 2 Series-badged MPVs – the Active Tourer and seven-seat Gran Tourer. However, under the skin, the coupe will share almost nothing with those cars.

BMW’s project manager for the 2 Series Gran Coupe, Gernot Stuhl, recently confirmed to Auto Express that the company was planning to introduce a new, compact 2 Series Coupe that will shun both front-wheel-drive and downsizing trends in an effort to make a proper driver’s car.

He said: “There will be a successor that will be on a rear-wheel-drive platform. So customers who want and need a new 2 Series Coupe will find that in our line-up, as well as those who want a six-cylinder engine.”

While the Gran Coupe uses BMW’s front-wheel-drive UKL platform – which underpins the firm’s 1 Series and is shared with the MINI hatchback – the rear-driven Coupe will be based on a heavily modified version of BMW’s CLAR architecture, which is found under the latest 3 Series saloon, and the 4 Series Coupe.

However, the 2 Series Coupe’s engine line-up will be familiar to BMW owners. Entry-level models will likely be offered with the same turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol unit as the 2 Series Gran Coupe, while higher-specced variants could have either a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol or diesel engine, which will be lifted from the 320i and 320d respectively.

BMW could easily make an M235i variant, too, which will act as a go-between for the standard model and the flagship M2 Coupe. It’ll likely feature the same 302bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the existing M235i Gran Coupe.

Six-cylinder power will be kept in reserve for the range-topping M2 Coupe. We expect it’ll be powered by a detuned version of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six found under the bonnet of the M3 and M4.

Like the rest of BMW’s M cars, the new M2 Coupe will be available in standard and Competition variants on the continent, although BMW will only offer the more potent version to UK buyers.

Power will probably be capped at around 420bhp, which will be sufficient to keep the M2 competitive with the Mercedes-AMG A 45 and upcoming Audi RS 3, while providing enough distance between it’s bigger brother – the M4. Most importantly, buyers should also have the option of a six-speed manual gearbox.

While the coupe is in development, it’s unlikely that a new 2 Series Convertible will follow. Sales of small premium drop-tops are low, and Audi won’t introduce an A3 Cabriolet, while Mercedes is to phase out the two-seat SLC in the coming months.

When the new 2 Series Coupe goes on sale later this year, prices should start from around £30,000 for the three-cylinder 218i.

What does the new BMW M2 Coupe have to beat? These are the best performance cars on sale now

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