Yup, this is the BMW X2, obscured only by some orange and grey camouflage, which for some reason has first surfaced on Highsnobiety, a lifestyle website, ahead of its official reveal later this year. We question the logic of this appearance as well as the editorial decision to associate it with “raw power”, as the subtitle reads.
Either way, we have here BMW’s newest crossover, clearly cut from the same technical and stylistic cloth as the X1, albeit with more coupe-like attributes. But, given the context, it’s meant to be more adept at navigating the urban environment with a little more panache, or so the marketing department would love you to think.
We’ll let you judge the look of this near-production X2 for yourselves as that is obviously the most important factor going for it. Being a derivative of the second-generation X1, a solid premium crossover, we’ll go as far as to assume it’ll be offered with a pretty much the same set of powertrain options and interior layout.
Turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will fill in most of the blanks to drive the front wheels, but a possible sub-M range-topper could be on the cards too, powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six turbo-petrol and possibly bearing the name X2 M40i xDrive.
We do know it’ll likely be positioned to be slightly sportier too, matching that of the X4 and X6, riding on firmer springs etc. Like the X1, it will ride on the BMW Group’s UKL1 platform that is also shared with the MINI Countryman and will eventually underpin the next-generation front-drive 1 Series. RIP the rear-driven small BMWs.
From these shots, though, it doesn’t seem apparent that this is a more desirable machine than the current X1, nor does it strike us as sportier. And it’ll definitely be less practical. Its coupe roofline does seem to be somewhat unflatteringly presented here, perhaps due to the distracting nature of the military pattern wrap which doesn’t do many favours for the front end either, emphasising BMW’s new enlarged kidney grilles that look like a pair of flared nostrils more so than on the new 5 Series or X3.
The concept version of the X2, revealed at last year’s Paris Motor Show, did have a definite sportiness to its design - a wide stance, large alloys, pronounced rear bumper with dual exhausts. Because that original sighting did not present any significant hurdles on its way to becoming a full production model, it set a high expectation for the ones that will eventually populate showrooms.
Hopefully, some of the same verve that wowed us last year will return when BMW hosts its official reveal, tentatively at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show next month.