BMW is putting on quite the show these days at Auto China 2024 in Beijing where it has a couple of premieres. The i4 LCI might take center stage but this flashy second-generation X2 M35i is sure to draw a big crowd, too. It’s not just any version of the crossover-coupe mashup but the M Performance model with a striking Tampa Bay Green paint job.

It doesn’t happen too often for a BMW to change so much from one generation to another. The “U10” looks totally different inside and out than the “F39” it replaces. It’s also significantly larger, so much so that you can have it with these flashy 20-inch wheels that don’t look like overkill. The red brake calipers provide a contrasting effect, as does the black finish of the M-specific side mirrors.

It might not be a real M car but that didn’t stop BMW from putting the “world’s most powerful letter” on the kidney grille. This trend started a few years ago and you’ll notice it on other M Lite cars, including the mechanically related X1 M35i. Another feature that has trickled down from the full-fat M cars is the quad exhaust, lending the derrière a menacing look.

The interior is also a bit out of the ordinary since BMW brought an X2 M35i with the optional M Sport seats. It was a good opportunity to cram in another M logo, which is backlit like on the bigger and more expensive M cars. Echoing the X2 sold elsewhere, the Chinese version sadly lacks the iDrive rotary knob. Unfortunately, it’s also gone from the new X1. On the flip side, the new X3 debuting in June will have it. The “G45” crossover will be the first BMW with iDrive 9 and a separate rotary knob for the infotainment.

The new X2 has all the ingredients to be a more popular model than its predecessor, which never really took off in terms of sales. With a fully electric iX2 now available, the smallest of BMW’s Sports Activity Coupes has a high chance of being more successful than the old model.