The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe will be revealed later this year ahead of going on sale in December, and will be headed by a 365bhp M variant, which will do battle with the Audi RS3 saloon and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45.
First reported by Autocar in early 2018, these new spy shots show that the model is now in advanced stages of testing ahead of its launch. The development car shows how the bodyshape will look with rear doors and a raised rear roof section creating a five-door liftback shape, which, in Gran Coupé form, promises to be a more practical performance offering than the regular 2 Series.
The M2 coupé sibling will retain a longitudinally mounted engine and rear-wheel drive, making it a unique offering compared with its rivals, which use transversely mounted engines and four-wheel drive.
BMW’s intention is that this format will provide the new M car with more engaging driving traits than its Audi and Mercedes competition — a move that has already made the M2 coupé a big hit among enthusiast drivers. The company believes there is sufficient scope within its future line-up to accommodate an additional model riding on its widely used rear-wheel-drive platform, hence the introduction of the 2 Series Gran Coupé.
The need to accommodate two conventional front-hinged rear doors and sufficient rear seat leg room is said to be behind the decision to give the new car a wheelbase that is halfway between the 2690mm span of the 2 Series Coupé and the 2810mm of the 3 Series saloon.
Inside, the 2 Series Gran Coupé will sport a new interior layout that is also set to be adopted by the successors to today’s 2 Series coupé and cabriolet, which are due in 2020.