Quite a large population of BMW fans are upset with the onset of the second-generation BMW X1. Its switch to the BMW Group’s front-wheel drive UKL architecture has caused some distress among the BMW faithful. The previous X1 was surprisingly fun to drive and was imbued with BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” nature. This new model eschews some of that sportiness for superior interior space, cargo space and ride comfort. While this has naturally upset the die-hard BMW enthusiasts, it has actually been a sales success. But for those who are still hurt at BMW’s switch to a more family-friendly X1, fear not, as the BMW X2 will be coming to the Paris Motor Show later next month.
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With a more aggressive design and demeanor, the BMW X2 will serve as the sportier, more enthusiast-oriented small SUV in BMW’s lineup. The BMW X2 will be to the X1 what the X4 and X6 are to the X3 and X5. While that alphabet soup might sound confusing, it actually does make sense in BMW’s world.
Based on the same front-wheel drive UKL architecture as the X1, the BMW X2 will provide a more enthusiast-driven experience. To be honest, BMW doesn’t have to actually change much, mechanically, to make the X2 a sporty car. The new BMW X1 is actually quite a fun little SUV to toss around. While it isn’t the genuine sports car that the original X1 was, it’s damn good for a front-drive platform. So the X2 just needs to be a bit lower, a bit lighter and more aggressive looking. The dynamics are there already, but the styling needs to catch up.
Fortunately, that’s exactly what BMW is going to do. While the front end will largely look the same on the X2, but with maybe a slightly more aggressively sloped hood, the rest of the car will be decidedly sportier. A more aggressively raked windshield, a more sweeping roof line and a tucked rear end will give the BMW X2 a more dynamic demeanor. It will likely share a lot of its styling with cars like the BMW X4. That’s probably actually the best way to describe what the X2 will look like — an X4-ified X1.
Powering the BMW X2 will be BMW’s typical catalog of turbocharged four-cylinder engines, both petrol and diesel. Being that it will be based on BMW’s front-wheel drive UKL architecture, the eight-speed Aisin gearbox will carry out automatic duties. A six-speed manual will be offered in European markets, but the US will likely only get the Aisin auto. While the manual is a BMW manual, the Aisin eight-speed is a fine auto ‘box, doing a decent impression of BMW’s ubiquitous ZF unit. Power will be sent to either the front wheels are all four, via xDrive. The latter will again be standard in the US, with front-drive models only making it to Europe.
According to BMW, the sort of buyers who will be interesting in the X2 are the sort that would also be interested in sporty hatchbacks. The idea is that someone looking for a fun and practical vehicle but now needs some extra space will love the X2. Someone who maybe is trading in their BMW 1 Series hatchback or Volkswagen GTI would be into the X2. Because that’s essentially what the BMW X2 will be, a jacked up sporty hatchback.
For any BMW enthusiast who needs something a big bigger than the average 1 or 2 Series, the BMW X2 could be a very exciting car. If you can get over the fact that it’s front-wheel drive-based, the BMW X2 could really surprise you with how fun it actually is to drive. Obviously, we’re basing that on how the BMW X1 drives and adding a bit of sport. We will have a real look at the BMW X2 in Paris come September.