Having introduced the latest X1 in 2022 and the X2 earlier this year, BMW is gearing up for a busy 2024 when it will unveil a couple of other new compact cars – the next-generation 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Coupe. The hatchback won’t be coming to the United States, but the swoopy sedan will be sold on this side of the pond. Not one but two prototypes of the latter have now been spotted testing in California, and it’s the red car that caught our attention.
Featuring quad exhaust tips, the first test vehicle featured in the spy video is the M235i xDrive, possibly without the letter “i” in its name. It will be the top version of the next-gen 2 Series Gran Coupe (F74) and logic tells us it’ll use the same turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine found in the X1 M35i and X2 M35i. The four-cylinder unit makes 312 horsepower in the United States and only 296 hp in Europe because of stricter emissions regulations. Regardless of region, torque is always 295 lb-ft (400 Nm).
Much like its five-door hatchback sibling, the 2 Series Gran Coupe is skipping the Life Cycle Impulse and heading straight to the next generation. However, the camouflaged prototype strongly suggests the styling evolution will be more in line with an LCI model rather than a car with a different codename. The red brake calipers have black tape to cover the M logo, which will also adorn one of the kidney grilles. We can also spot the sportier side mirror caps – yet another design trait that used to be reserved for the true M cars.
The second half of the video shows a lesser version of the new Mercedes CLA rival. The man with the camera was able to zoom in to have a look inside the cabin where we can easily see the redesigned dashboard. The iDrive 9 is easy to see, sitting atop a covered dashboard presumably hiding a minimalist interior with far fewer switchgear by moving most controls within the touchscreen.
According to BMW insiders, the revamped 2 GC will be pushed upmarket with nicer materials, better seats, more advanced driver-assistance systems, a fancier Harman Kardon sound system, and even an illuminated kidney grille. For China, a long-wheelbase version codenamed F78 is planned as well.
We’re hearing production of the regular F74 is scheduled to commence in November 2024, so look for an official debut over the next summer.
Source: KindelAuto / YouTube