The swoopy new BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November and the PR machine’s drip-feed of information has started with these official images of a late-stage prototype that’s doing final calibration testing in Germany.
The 2GC is based on the same UKL2 platform as the newly front-wheel-drive 1-Series. At the moment, BMW is highlighting the sporty M235i xDrive model. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo engine serving up 306hp and 332lb/ft of torque, connected by an eight-speed automatic gearbox to xDrive four-wheel-drive.
We’ve already seen this particular powertrain in a number of cars based on the UKL2 platform, including the new 1-Series and Mini Countryman.
Underneath the camouflage, we can see the 2GC bears more than a passing resemblance to the 1-Series and X2 SUV. We don’t have figures yet so can’t say for sure, but it looks a bit broader than the 1-Series and about the same height. That bodes well for interior space, rear-seat headroom in particular – not a strong suit of the bigger 4-Series Gran Coupe.
The chassis gets a mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential and near-actuator wheel slip limitation (ARB). First seen on the electric i3s, ARB lives in the engine’s computer rather than the stablity control system, increasing response time by a factor of three, claims BMW.
Unlike the 1-Series, the 2GC will be sold in every market around the world. Opposition comes Mercedes in the form of the CLA and A-Class saloon, both of which available in 35 AMG form, offering virtually identical power and performance to the M235i.
Other powertrain options will be available, of course, but BMW has yet to detail the full range.
Confusingly, the next-gen 2-Series coupe and convertible will reportedly use a rear-wheel-drive platform. At least the difference between them and the 2GC won’t be anything like as jarring as the difference between the current iteration and the discontinued 2-Series Active Tourer MPV.
By Graham King