BMW’s FWD diversification continues, with another 2-series derivative coming in 2019

Building on the next 1-series hatchback we’re due to see later this year, a new coupe-cum-hatchback derivative has now been spotted testing, flaunting a near-unrecognisable body from those that usually don the blue and white roundel. To be called the 2-series Gran Coupe, it’ll essentially replace the current 2-series Coupe for the moment, and sit alongside the pension-spec 2-series Active and Grand Tourers.

If this all sounds a little dour, one look at the vast front overhang, high waistline and short wheelbase confirm that this won’t be in the traditional rear-drive ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ mould, rather a front-wheel-drive model designed to rival the Mercedes CLA, which is about to be replaced with an all-new model based on the new A-class (not to be confused with the A-class saloon…)

> Click here for the latest on the next BMW 1-series

Based on the same front-wheel-drive platform that will also go on to underpin the 1-series, engines should be made up from a combination of three- and four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines. High-output models will likely feature xDrive all-wheel drive, the Haldex-style system borrowed from the X1 and X2.

An M Performance model will likely subsume flagship status initially, combining a 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine borrowed from the X2 M35i. Outputs are only speculative, but with AMG’s CLA35 very likely to share the A35’s 225kW, we’d expect the top-spec Gran Coupe to follow suit, without a six-cylinder engine in sight. BMW’s questionable grey styling elements on top of the ever-present M Sport styling pack should also feature.

Where does this leave a future 2-series Coupe and more importantly the M2? BMW’s M Division has remained coy about any future compact models, but as the new G20 3-series is only a mere 7cm shorter than an E39 BMW 5-series, there is surely space below it for a compact rear-wheel-drive model. Time will tell.