According to Car and Driver, BMW has recently filed for U.S. trademarks for 2 Series model designation. While BMW is known for filling far in advance for multiple trademarks and naming conventions, and some of them are never used, it is interesting that the filling comes around the same time when news around a front-wheel-drive lineup have been increasing.
Car and Driver goes even further and speculates that the the 2 Series badge would actually be given to the next-generation of 1 Series models.
BMW is on path to produce a small-car portfolio and new products are scheduled before 2015.
This month, BMW filed U.S. trademark applications for the monikers 228, 230, and 235, similar to the 3 Series family designation.
Rendering of a smaller future BMW vehicle
The -28, -30, and -35 suffixes are currently affixed to six-cylinder engines in BMW’s other cars, but we are incline to believe that four-cylinder engines are most likely to power the new lineup.
Here is where conflicting information appears. Car and Driver believes that the 2 Series would continue to be a rear-wheel drive lineup. They speculate that in 2012 when the 1 Series Coupe launches with a new design, BMW will choose to use a 2 Series badging.
More probable, though, is that once the 1-series switches to a front-wheel-drive platform—a change widely expected to take place around 2015—BMW would launch the 2-series as its entry-level rear-driver. Our guess is that the 2-series would be a two-door coupe/convertible only, at least in our market.
In our opinion, we find this step to be quite challenging. After 7 years of heavy marketing promotion around 1 Series Coupe models, the change to a 2 Series badge could create confusion among consumers and the marketing challenges would increase.
Here is another interesting analysis from C&D:
But we’re not done yet. Beneath that front-drive 1-series, BMW is planning two more models. Smallest in size will be the all-electric Megacity—which, as you might have guessed, is a city car (although it’s said to be bigger than a Mini). A more conventional entry below the 1-series is on the way, too: a Ford Fiesta–sized front-wheel-driver. That vehicle and the 1-series are likely candidates to offer a new gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, which BMW recently announced will be jointly developed with Peugeot-Citroën. The companies already collaborated on gas four-cylinders for front-wheel-drive applications (it’s in the Mini Cooper), and this new hybrid system likely will leverage the next generation of that family.
In a recent discussion with BMW representatives, we were told that no final decision has been made around the front-wheel-drive family and many things can still change. The assessment and research phase is still in place, and final decision will come down the road. No mention of a 2 Series at the time the discussion took place.
Back in June, BMW also surprised by filling for the “M2″ trademark, but once again this could be simply a place holder and a plan to secure the name.[Source: Car and Driver ]