3y ago

BMW is aiming to fill yet another niche within the ever-growing ranks of premium crossovers with its latest creation: the sporty X2.

The X2 is designed to slot in between the entry-level front-drive-based X1 and the larger X3, as a model that focuses more on style than outright practicality. BMW refers to the X2 as a Sports Activity Coupe, essentially a more rakish version of the popular X1 crossover aimed at those who are less likely to have outright practicality at the top of their priority list, although it does remain a five-door. It’s aimed straight at the likes of the Audi Q2, Volvo XC60, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Range Rover Evoque.

It is based on the company’s small-car architecture –the UKL2 platform - shared with the X1, 2 Series Active and Gran Tourer and MINI Countryman, which means it will be sold primarily as a front-wheel drive crossover, although in SA the diesel version will be xDrive four-wheel drive-equipped. While the wheelbase is the same as the X1 it is two centimetres shorter and more than seven centimetres lower. The SUV's exterior design combines the low-slung proportions of a coupe with the signature elements of a BMW X model.

Inside, the driver-focused cabin of the X2 gets familiar BMW cues, including iDrive and a 6.5-inch infotainment display that’s standard across the range, but which can be upgraded to a similarly sized Touch Control set-up, or an optional 8.8-inch screen with the same features. A head-up display will also be offered, as an option, along with WiFi hotspot preparation. Apple CarPlay will also be an extra, however, and Android Auto won’t be available.

Because of the much lower roofline, headroom will likely be tighter than in the X1, and while boot space is 35 litres less it still is a decent 470 litres. There are five seats, but the middle seat will likely only be comfortable for short journeys or smaller people.

The South African line-up will include two derivatives which locals are already familiar with, both of which are equipped with automatic transmissions. The front-wheel-drive sDrive20i petrol derivative has peak outputs of 141kw and 280nm, a claimed fuel consumption range of around 6.2/100km and a 7-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission. The xDrive20d turbodiesel derivative produces 140kw and 400nm, consumes approximately 4.6L/100km, and is equipped with xDrive "intelligent all-wheel drive" and features an 8-speed Steptronic transmission.

BMW South Africa is expected the reveal pricing in late 2017, while the X2 goes on sale towards the end of the first quarter in 2018. Price wise, we guesstimate X2 to slot in nearer to the upper end of the X1 range than entry-level of the soon-to-be-launched X3. A 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan will be standard.

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