BMW is gearing up to replace the 2 Series Gran Coupe (F44) by skipping the usual mid-cycle facelift and heading straight to the next-generation model (F74). Ahead of its official release later this year, the company’s entry-level sedan has been spied winter testing near the Arctic Circle. We get to see several prototypes, but most of the footage focuses on the flagship M235.

The M235 (without the “i” at the end) can be easily identified by its quad exhaust tips, larger wheels, M-specific side mirrors, and a somewhat throaty engine soundtrack. That subtle trunk lid spoiler appears to be shared with regular versions of the 2 Series Gran Coupe equipped with the optional M Sport Package. Despite being advertised as a next-gen car, the new compact luxury sedan will have an evolutionary design with sharper lights, restyled bumpers, flush door handles, and possibly an illuminated grille.

Although the exterior will be more of the same, the cabin is going to be a real revolution. Prepare to say goodbye to the rotary knob since the new four-door 2er will get the iDrive 9 from the X1, X2, and 2 Series Active Tourer. There will generally be fewer conventional controls, which means you’ll be accessing most functions from the touchscreen. We’re hearing there will be nicer materials inside, along with active seats and fancier ambient lighting.

The second-generation 2 Series Gran Coupe will be preceded by a new 1 Series (F70). The not-for-America hatchback is also getting the M Performance treatment as the M135. The outgoing models in their entry-level versions are still offered with a six-speed manual gearbox in Europe but that’s unlikely to be the case with their replacements. The pair of new models are expected to be sold strictly with a dual-clutch automatic with optional paddle shifters, which could come standard on the M135 and M235.

If a recent 1 Series leak is any indication, the hatch will be a bit longer, wider, taller, and heavier. Logic tells us it’ll be the same story with its sedan equivalent. BMW purportedly intends to start production of the 1er in July and of the 2er in November. The official debuts are expected to take place at least a couple of months before series production commences.

Once again, the two models are expected to skip electrification and come only with gasoline and diesel engines. The more expensive variants are getting xDrive while the cheaper ones will stick to a front-wheel-drive setup. BMW won’t do another 1 Series Sedan for China because it plans to launch a long-wheelbase 2 Series Gran Coupe (F78) instead, with production starting in January 2025.

Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube