You used to know where you were with BMW. It made dependable, fun-to-drive sedans, with the occasional foray into GT cars like the 6 and 8 Series. But then the car buying public went mad, and everyone decided they really wanted a wagon. But they wouldn’t buy actual wagons, apparently because of the association with mom’s station wagon from the ’70s. And they wouldn’t buy hatchbacks, either, because those were only for college kids. So the marketers took those form factors and jacked them up in the air, adding some styling tweaks meant to suggest the utilitarianism of military surplus.
Because BMW wants to keep selling cars, it joined in on the fun with its range of X vehicles: SUVs, crossovers, and the increasingly odd Sports Activity Coupes. It’s to the latter category that its newest vehicle belongs—meet the BMW X2.
BMW’s press release heralding the new car says it features “an unmistakable design with sporty yet urban genes.” It’s derived from the more conventional X1 and shares its wheelbase, but it’s shorter and lower.
The one we’ll get at launch is called the X2 xDrive28i—because BMW abandoned its logical naming system some time ago—and it will get a version of the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s ubiquitous across BMW’s range. It is all-wheel drive, using an electrohydraulic clutch that can send power to the rear wheels when necessary. Think of it like a cross between a Golf GTI and Subaru Crosstrek and you’ll have the right idea.
A BMW like this was inevitable, as the equally odd X6 and X4 SACs have sold well in the US, and you may as well give the people what they want. But a look at the concept sketches (see gallery above) makes me rather sad to think what could have been.
The X2 goes on sale early next year and should be slightly more expensive than a similarly equipped X1 (think $38,000 and up).