The Nurburgring is BMW’s traditional proving ground. Before cars are given the green light to enter production, they must prove their worth on the famous Green Hell. The time has come for one of the most controversial models to do that, now that Spring has returned to the Eiffel mountains  – the BMW M235i Gran Coupe. The new model is supposed to take on the premium entry-level segment currently dominated by the A3 Sedan, and especially the Mercedes-Benz CLA.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe will be a front-wheel drive four-door coupe model that some will instead call a ‘sedan’. It will share its underpinnings with cars like the upcoming 1 Series and, to some extent, the two will also have a similar exterior design. We’ve seen the 1 Series leaked online a while back so just imagine those grilles and headlights on the car in the footage below to get a grip on how the 2 Series Gran Coupe will look like.

The top of the range model will be the M235i xDrive. It will only be available in all-wheel drive guise and will use the 2-liter B48 engine also found on the M35i X2, among other things. Developing over 300 HP and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque, this thing is going to be fast in a straight line, as the video actually confirms. It will also sound decent if the recent MINI JCW GP spy video we showed you yesterday is anything to go by.

BMW claims even though the car will be FWD at its core, it will still be thoroughly enjoyable to drive thanks to some very interesting tech that’s just around the corner. We’ll have to drive it to actually get a clue as to whether their claims ring true or not. We can also confirm that the 2 Series Gran Coupe will get the Live Professional Cockpit instrument cluster as an optional extra while the M Performance model will have 19″ wheels and a wider range of performance-enhancing add-ons available later on.