These are the latest spy pictures of the upcoming BMW X2, which will be positioned in between the second-generation X1 and the current X3 in BMW's line-up when it goes on sale in the second half of this year.
Based on the same platform as the X1, the X2 is set to be previewed by a thinly disguised concept car at the Geneva motor show in March.
BMW officials have already confirmed to Autocar that the X2 will follow the example of the larger X4 and X6 in receiving a uniquely styled steel body. These spy pictures show the X2 will be significantly longer and wider than the X1, with a shorter rear overhang and high-set bonnet. The extreme angle of the tailgate is designed to give the X2 a more coupé-like silhouette, differentiating it from the more practical X1.
This latest test mule was spotted winter testing in convoy with the current X1 and X3.
Like the X1, the X2 will initially be offered with a range of four-cylinder engines, with the likelihood of more economical three-cylinder units being added to the line-up within the first 12 months. They will include a powered-up version of BMW’s new B48 engine, which made its debut in the 2 Series Active Tourer, in a planned M Performance variant of the X2 scheduled for launch in 2018.
In standard guise, the B48 engine makes 228bhp, although that is set to rise to somewhere in the region of 300bhp with changes to the induction system and other tweaks, in a move that is set to elevate the performance of the range-topping X2 to a level comparable with that of the Audi RS Q3.
Engines will be mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox in combination with front or four-wheel drive.
The X2 will be produced alongside the X1 at BMW’s Regensburg factory in Germany, unlike the first-generation X1, which was built alongside the 1 Series and 3 Series at the company’s Leipzig plant. Increasing demand for key models and the establishment of production lines for the i3 electric car and i8 hybrid sports car at that site has forced BMW to reorganise its strategy.