Previews a brand-new compact crossover

In 1999, BMW launched its first-ever SUV, joining the increasingly popular crossover market with the X5. The mid-size hauler was later joined by the smaller X3 and X1, as well as the coupe-shaped X6 and X4 models. The German company is planning to expand its family of X models even further in the future with a larger X7, already confirmed for production. An X2 has also been in the rumor mill for a few years, but BMW has yet to confirm it. This changed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, where the Munich-based firm showcased the X2 Concept.

Described as a vehicle for "active people looking for a combination of enjoyment and practicality," the X2 Concept slots between the X1 and the X3.. But although the even number next to the "X" places it in the same lineup with the X4 and X6, the X2’s styling lacks the hunched stance of its coupe siblings. This is where it gets a bit confusing, but needless to say, the X2 is definitely sportier than the X3 and X1.

"The BMW Concept X2 combines the fast-moving body language and low-slung proportions of a coupe with the robust construction of an X model. This is a sporty vehicle with a bold character, and it allows us to open up some fascinating new design possibilities for the BMW brand," said Karim Habib, head of BMW Design.

BMW has yet to specifically confirm that a production X2 is underway as of January 2017, but a road-going model is expected to arrive within the next couple of years. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the concept and the brand-new BMW features that define it.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW X2 Concept.

Exterior

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Styling-wise, the X2 concept remains faithful to BMW’s current design language and looks like a mash-up between the X1 and X4, but seasoned with a number of conceptual cues that will find their way on the production car in a more toned-down form. Although part of the same family that includes the coupe-styled X4 and X6, the X2 isn’t as sleek as it bigger cousins. The roof line is closer to the X1 and X3, missing the familiar hump of the X4.

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2016 BMW X2 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW X2 Concept High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Styling-wise, the X2 looks like a mash-up between the X1 and X4, but seasoned with a number of conceptual cues

The glasshouse is lower that the standard BMW SUV, and paired with the elongated roofline, it makes the car seem longer than it really is. The sporty upper features are contrasted by the muscular surfaces below the beltline. The beefy wheel arches and side skirts are highlighted by gray trim and underfloor extensions, while the 21-inch wheels give it an aggressive stance. The side look is rounded off by brushed aluminum window frames, slender mirrors, and the familiar Hofmeister Kink at the quarter window.

The front end is pretty imposing for a vehicle this small. The kidney grille elements are mounted a little lower than the headlamps, while the central air intake is closer to the ground than the two outer intakes. This makes the center of the car appear lower, a feature usually seen on sports cars. The slim headlamps with blue LED graphics, the massive outer vents, and the brushed aluminum trim on the grille further set the concept apart from X-badged production models.

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The rear fascia is packed with width-accentuating elements such as the slim rear window and beefed-up horizontal line above the bumper. These features give the crossover a sportier stance that’s more typical to hot-hatchbacks rather than SUVs. The thin taillights, the underfloor plate and the massive exhaust outlets at each corner also help with the aggressive looks.

Needless to say, the production model will drop the exaggerated wheels, grille, and bumpers and will adopt larger windows, but for the most part this concept is a good preview of things to come.

SIMILAR PRODUCTION MODELS

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2016 BMW X1 High Resolution Exterior
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2018 BMW X2 - Updated High Resolution Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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2015 BMW X4 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: X2 concept pictured on the top left, X1 pictured on the top right, X2 pictured on the bottom left, X4 pictured on the bottom right

(compare X2 concept with production versions of X1, X2, and X4)

Interior

BMW had nothing to say about the concept’s interior and since there are no photos to run by, it’s difficult to predict what lurks behind the dark-tinted windows. Chances are BMW either didn’t even bother to make a new interior or it’s very close to the production model and wants to keep it hidden. And I say this because the X2 Concept was shown at two auto shows as of January 2017 and its doors were kept closed on both occasions. At the Detroit Auto Show, the vehicle was kept behind a glass barrier and we didn’t have the chance to get close enough to look inside through the dark windows.

The X2’s cabin will most likely be based on other crossovers like the X1 and X3.

Anyway...

Based on the fact that the German didn’t bother to talk about the interior, I’m tempted to assume that the X2 concept was designed as an exterior showcase model only, so it really doesn’t matter what’s inside. This will change once the X2 becomes a production model, but that’s still a couple of years away. However, the X2’s cabin will most likely be based on other crossovers like the X1 and X3.

WHAT TO EXPECT

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Note: X1 interior shown here.

Drivetrain

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The drivetrain is also a mystery, probably for the same reason why the interior didn’t get any attention. But, assuming there is an engine under that hood, my bet is on a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine. This unit will most likely be standard on the production model, alongside a diesel version and a larger, 3.0-liter inline-six powerplant for the range-topping model. The big question is, will the X2 use a rear-wheel-drive platform or will it borrow the FWD underpinnings from the Mini Cooper and the BMW X1? My best guess is that the latter scenario is more likely.

Conclusion

2016 BMW X2 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Although BMW has yet to announce a production version of the X2, this concept confirms what we suspected for a very long time. Pretty soon, the company’s SUV lineup will include all nameplates from X1 to X6, with a larger X7 to join the family in a couple of years. Of course, it’s too early to talk about the production model, but the concept car looks very promising. Granted, most of its flamboyant styling cues will be dropped, but the concept’s somewhat new design language gives it the kind of sporty stance you’d expect from a Bimmer, including a crossover. Hopefully the production model will arrive without the annoying hump of the X4 and X6 models.

  • Leave it
    • * Most fancy features won’t make it on the road car
    • * No interior and drivetrain details

Press Release

Photo Credit: BMW

The BMW Group has chosen the Paris Motor Show 2016 to present the BMW Concept X2. This new addition to the compact segment has a distinctive design that stands apart from that of the other X models and also draws on the BMW Group’s history of coupe-making. The result is a compact concept exuding urban sporting appeal.

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“The BMW Concept X2 is a vehicle for active people looking for a combination of enjoyment and practicality,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The concept displays a new and exciting facet of the BMW brand within the compact segment.” The design – a successful blend of dynamic appeal and solidity. The design of the BMW Concept X2 fuses apparent contradictions into a single coherent statement. “The BMW Concept X2 combines the fast-moving
body language and low-slung proportions of a coupe with the robust construction of an X model. This is a sporty vehicle with a bold character, and it allows us to open up some fascinating new design possibilities for the BMW brand,” says Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design.

The distinctive character of the BMW Concept X2 already shines through in the car’s proportions. While its large wheels and familiar two-box design underline its functional X model character, a long wheelbase, stretched roofline, short overhangs and heavily forward-slanting C-pillar give the body a sporty, low-to-the-road feel. The interplay of the darker cladding surfaces and striking Luminous Red body colour make the Concept X2 look even slimmer from the side.

Two facets to a singular character – the side view.

The upper section of the car’s flanks is dominated by sporty design elements. The elongated roofline and slim window graphic create a stretched feel. The glasshouse tapers towards the rear, forming an athletic shoulder section. The window graphic surrounds and integrated two-piece mirror bases (both made from brushed aluminium) add an extra touch of class. The thickness of the aluminium profile plays a contrasting role here. The window graphic is rounded off by a dynamic interpretation of the hallmark BMW Hofmeister kink. Like the logo on the C-pillar – a classically sporty coupe design cue straight out of the BMW history books – this represents a singularly unmistakeable detail. The large, air-channelling roof spoiler in body colour lies flat over the blackened rear window. Extending from the C-pillars, it gives the rear of the BMW Concept X2 its sporty contours.

Lower down the sides of the car, customary X-model features hog the limelight. Muscular surfaces, large wheel arches and stylistic underfloor protection around the door sills form an intriguing contrast with the dynamic elements further up. Focusing for a moment on more detailed features, the surfaces of the car’s flanks bring together large, smoothly modelled sections with precise edges, showcasing the car’s athletic presence. The dramatic surfacing also emphasises the almost squared-off wheel arches familiar from the car’s BMW X stablemates. In them sit large, 21-inch light-alloy wheels, whose striking, double-spoke, bi-colour design with a strong sense of threedimensionality continues the contrast between dynamic appeal and solidity into the car’s details. Tyres with chunky treads point to the potential for fun off the beaten track, while door sills in body colour with integral hexagonal elements set the seal on the robust appearance of the car’s sides at their lowest point.

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Dynamism and presence – the front end.

The front-end design of the BMW Concept X2 likewise fuses dynamic elements with a robust use of forms. Clearly contoured volumes and subtle edges create a front-end impression with presence and sporting appeal in abundance. The heavily raked windscreen appears to extend seamlessly into the dark panoramic roof and teams up with the newly interpreted double kidney grille and large air intakes to give the front end a slow-slung look. The kidneys are sited a little lower than the headlights, and the central air intake is closer to the road than the two outer intakes. This makes the centre of the car appear lower, underlining the dynamic verve of the front-end design. The kidneys turn the familiar trapezoidal shape of BMW grilles on its head and instead widen from top to bottom. This clear statement therefore accentuates
the standalone nature of the BMW Concept X2, as well as the width of the front and the car’s solid stance. Graphically modelled and heavily angled bars within the kidney grille create an undeniable “shark nose” effect, bringing additional depth and sculptural richness to this area of the car.

The flat contours of the headlight tubes help to give the classical BMW twin circular look a more hexagonal form. The laser light technology used by the headlights enables very slim light graphics, while the blue X in the centre of the hexagonal tubes adds a further technical accent.

The front apron is dominated by the large central air intake below the kidney grille, which helps to quench the Concept X2’s thirst for cooling air. The smaller, triangular air intakes on either side highlight the car’s broad stance. The robust, horizontal slats of the air intakes provide a solid counterpoint to the dynamic design of the front apron and add further detailed emphasis of the front-end’s traditional X-model character.

A powerful statement – the rear end.

The rear of the BMW Concept X2 rounds off the exterior design in distinctive style. Width-accentuating elements such as the slim rear window and horizontal lines reduce the perceived height of the BMW Concept X2 and underscore its sporting pretentions. From this angle you can also see how the rear window emerges elegantly from below the air-channelling spoiler and underlines the car’s sporting character. The prominent tapering of the glasshouse along the sides of the Concept X2 also catches the eye. It forms a powerful shoulder area, allowing it to highlight the car’s broad, muscular stance. Below the glasshouse, the sharply drawn rear lights radiate dynamic intent. The fresh interpretation of the lights’ familiar “L” shape frames the LED element as an illuminating three-dimensional sculpture that projects from the
rear to eye-catching effect.

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Located between the rear lights is the BMW logo. Below, the almost uninterrupted transition from tailgate to rear apron creates a cohesive overall picture which spotlights the car’s crisp surface language with particular clarity. The dark cladding below the rear apron lifts the whole rear end visually, while at the same time giving its upper section a slimmer look. The body-colour rear apron provides a dynamic flourish to round off the lower reaches of the rear. A large tailpipe at either outer extreme emphasises the car’s broad stance, while the surrounding surfaces reference the three-way split and overall form of the front air intakes.

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