Currently reading: Next BMW M2 will stay rear-wheel drive
2 Series coupe, including its flagship performance version, will continue with RWD despite arrival of front-drive 2 Series Gran Coupé

The BMW 2 Series Coupé, will continue as a rear-wheel-drive model in the future – and the firm will continue to offer a high-performance BMW range-topping M2 version.

While the two-door Coupé, first launched in 2014, driven from the rear, the recently launched new 2 Series Gran Coupé has adopted a front-drive architecture. That four-door model is built on the same UKL platform as the new 1 Series, which has switched its driven wheels from front to rear. But 2 Series product manager Gernot Stuhl said there were no planes for the next-generation Coupé to make a similar switch.

Stuhl said the coupe, which was first launched in 2014 and facelifted in 2017 would "continue with a different architecture" in the next generation. He added that while market research had shown most 1 Series buyers did not choose that model because of its drivetrain, it was a selling point for buyers of the two-door coupe.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe line-up is headed by the 302bhp all-wheel-drive M235i M Performance version, which uses the same 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder petrol engine as the M135i. Stuhl said BMW would not produce a full M version of the Gran Coupé, with Stuhl saying that “there’s not much missing” in terms of driving dynamics.

But he added that “there will still be a hardcore BMW M2 for those that want it” in the next generation of the 2 Series Coupé. While Stuhl would not be drawn on any technical details, he said: “if you feel you need a compact car with more than 302bhp, there will be an offering for you in the BMW range”.

The differing platforms and drivetrain of the Coupé and Gran Coupé make the 2 Series arguably the most diverse line in BMW's range. It also includes the 2 Series Active Tourer MPV, a new version of which is due in 2020. BMW has previously offered a seven-seat 2 Series Gran Tourer, but this has been phased out due to crossover with BMW's SUV range.


BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe squares up to Mercedes CLA

BMW design boss defends radical styling direction

BMW M8 Gran Coupe revealed as Porsche Panamera rival


Read our review

Car review

The BMW M2 is the smallest M car in the range, but can it live up to the prodigious name?

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
405line 5 November 2019

The thing is

BMW had built a reputation of fine handling cars and that's be cause they've been RWD with better than average suspension and thus ride, the fact that people don't know that is neither here or there. As the reviews become more and more average then the company will start to struggle more and more to sell anything.

spqr 1 November 2019

2 Series MPV

BMW developed the 2 Series so-called "Active Tourer" in the early 2010s when MPVs were still all the rage with Citroen, Renault, Peugeot and the Koreans bringing out a new MPV virtually every month. The market has changed since then and arguably the "compact" SUVs have taken over from the MPVs in the market. As BMW does not really seem to sell many 2 Series Active Tourers so I expect that they will keep it on sale for a while longer to help recoup the costs of development. It would make far more sense for BMW to ditch the "2 Series" name for the Active Tourer and badge it as a 1 Series instead since the two cars are basically identical now. One thing that I have noticed having had several coutresy cars that were Active Tourers, X1s and  X2s is that the dashboard is a modified MINI dash and the seats are also modified MINI seats. Odd that Autocar and other magazine never seem to comment on this.

Peter Cavellini 31 October 2019

Mix n match, pic n mix?!

 You can just about order your car how you want it these days, just go in. Tell them what your after , agree a price and a few months later you take delivery, simples!!!!