After a period of silenzio stampa (or “News Blackout” for our English speaking readers), the interwebs’ famous BMW insider Scott27 returns with more rumors around the future models of BMW Group. In his or hers typical way, Scott27 gives detailed descriptions around the upcoming 2 Series Coupe and Cabriolet, the highly rumored and somewhat expected M2, and a surprise: a Gran Coupe Compact or in other words, 2 Series Gran Coupe.
Here is the full text unedited, courtesy of Germancarforum:
The latest Autobild magazine from Germany is currently running a feature on BMW and the seventeen new models due from the company over the course of the next two-three years.
One such model illustrated is the BMW 2er shown below in Cabrio variant. Whilst some of the rendered illustrations border on some fiction, the 2er Cabrio illustrated shows some idea of the actual surface changes in distinguishing the 2er from the 1er, which BMW have concentrated on to give a more sportier look to the small and very popular 1er Coupe replacement.
The 2er as it progresses from the 1er to slot in with the even number of the Coupe family , will be BMW’s entry Coupe model in Rear Wheel Drive specification. With advanced plans to switch the entire 1er to front wheel drive in the next generation. The 2er is introduced to keep the sportier compact rear wheel drive concept in balance.
As seen on the rendering by the Autobild artist Larson. He has incorporated some of the current design thinking within BMW demonstrated on the visual canvas of the Vision ConnectedDrive and 328 Hommage concepts with their prominent surface layering in this case the 2er given its sporting credentials is designed as a concept in motion with everything on the surface of the car raked forward.
The Surface layering distinguishes the bloodline between the 1er and 2er with the rear wheel arch being formed by a dropping character line which will give the car a compact rear deck as the typical BMW 2dr Sedan look. Like the Sporthatch this line will surround the rear arch and pronounce the surface work on the lower flanks of the car.
The rear tail-lights appear in two formats one not shown here , is raked forward in some way similar to the current car with tones of the Vision ConnectedDrive leading into a more pronounced L-Shape. Like the current 1er Coupe and Cabrio, the characterline which visually “connects” the rear arch spreads around the rear , allowing the rear lamps to droop down when that “U” shape meets the license plate in the middle allowing a visual comparison with the current car in progress.
The other format shown here is the same idea with the taillights wrapping around in the opposite direction as shown in the illustration.
The front of the 1er has not been universally accepted by a minority, nevertheless the car has been successful with the Sportline being the popular choice. But with the separation of the two models , BMW have given the 2er its own identity. It will progress the look of the 1er but give its own distinctive look which will be less visual than the hatch but still with a very dynamic sporty appearance.
The 2er will of course emulate the 1er in engine options with both Petrol and Diesel of Four and Six cylinders. And optional xDrive. In order to bring the M Performance compact car to the US, There will be an M235i heading the top of the range. And available in both Coupe and Cabrio.
The 1M Coupe replacement is undergoing intense discussion. The basic recipe is the same as before – The entry M , powerful , compact and great to drive but with the opportunity to push for progress without sacrificing its core strengths and attributes.
With the advent of the BMW 6er Gran Coupe and the promise of a similar concept for the upcoming 4er. BMW has been left in a sort of dilemma. As the 2er retains that classic BMW appearance , turning the car into a four door will give the car the look of a small sedan, which goes against BMW’s Gran Coupe idea. A Small RWD sedan is not considered by BMW in the long term as they need to protect the 3er and its large fleet market share, something that projections show that the Audi A3 Sedan and Mercedes CLA could eat into the C-Klasse and A4 respectively especially in the highly contested fleet market where the larger cars are more profitable.
But the desire of such small sedan-Coupe concepts has not gone unnoticed. Especially for markets like the US and China.
Although nothing has been confirmed BMW are investigating two options – One would be a four dr spun of the upcoming BMW 1er City model which will be available as both 3dr and 5dr, and its adaptable modular architecture which would be available with FWD and AWD – Making it a formidable rival for both the A3 and CLA as they are both FWD and AWD. This could also sire a four dr MINI Sedan.
Another idea is GCC – GranCoupe Compact. Which is in the infant stages of discussion so far, A separate model kind of like how the 5er GT fits within the regular 5er , enhancing the design of the regular Coupe and Cabrio but with a much lower Gran Coupe glasshouse and roofline but remaining with RWD and optional xDrive. This model could be a four or five dr or even take a new direction in design. BMW Design have been evaluating highly contemporary stylish concepts such as the Hyundai Veloster and Citroen DS5 for a varied perception.
However, having a look at the Mercedes-Benz CSC Concept in Beijing shows that it is in fact longer than the C-Klasse and therefore looks more of a car to compete against the 4er Gran Coupe rather than a 2er.
The BMW 2er Coupe will launch next Summer with the Cabrio appearing towards the end of 2013.