- BMW's entry-level 2-series lineup will gain a new variant called the 2-series Gran Coupe.
- This new four-door, front-wheel-drive-based model will compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLA-class.
- The announcement comes just after BMW said it would reduce model complexity and cancel vehicles such as the 3-series Gran Turismo.
The idea of the BMW X1 crossover was already heresy for many BMW purists, who felt that its front-wheel-drive layout was disrupting decades of rear-drive dynamic excellence from the Ultimate Driving Machine brand (for the record, we like the X1, which has won several C/D 10Best Trucks and SUVs awards). Now BMW has announced a new front-wheel-drive model for the U.S. market, to be called the 2-series Gran Coupe, that will be the first front-drive sedan to wear the BMW roundel on our shores (a FWD 1-series sedan does already exist in China).
This new model will make its debut in November at the Los Angeles auto show.
Its name is a bit misleading: unlike the 2-series coupe and convertible, which ride on a rear-wheel-drive platform and have two doors, this four-door 2-series offering will have front-wheel drive. It will be built on BMW’s UKL modular platform, as are the X1 and the forthcoming 1-series compact, the latter of which won’t be sold in the U.S.
Expect the 2-series Gran Coupe to have a somewhat rakish silhouette, as seen in the teaser photo above, which shows a gently sloping roofline and a short trunklid similar to the current 4-series Gran Coupe. It's unclear at this point if the 2-series Gran Coupe will have a hatchback like its big sibling. We predict that a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four will be the standard engine, making for a 228i or 230i model, and that xDrive all-wheel drive will be optional. It's unlikely that BMW will offer the Gran Coupe with a manual transmission, as this model has less of an enthusiast focus than the 2-series coupe.
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