The BMW X2 is More Than Just a Low-Riding X1

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

A new Sports Activity Coupe – a low-riding, design-focused crossover – is about to join BMW’s lineup. The fresh-faced X2 should bring this Bavarian brand’s renowned sporty driving dynamics to a smaller, more urban-friendly package.

While it shares many foundational components with the X1, including a front-wheel-drive-based architecture, the new X2 is different in more ways than you might expect, something detailed by Julius Schluppkotten, the vehicle’s project director.

“If you look at the exterior,” he said, “there are two parts which are the same with the X1, this is the door handle and the antenna.” On the outside, everything else is unique between these two vehicles.

“You also see the different proportions… which give you a different impression compared to the X1,” said Schluppkotten. Even though these models share the same wheelbase, which clocks in at 105.1 inches (267 cm), the X2 is shorter and lower than its sibling by around three inches (7.6 cm) in each measure. Its iconic twin-kidney grille has also been redefined, with each segment being made wider at the bottom than the top, and there’s a BMW roundel affixed to each aft roof pillar, something of a retro touch. For these reasons and more, Schluppkotten said, “I am very sure that both of the cars, they will find clearly different customers.”

The X2 is intended to appeal to young urbanites, drivers that need a practical and easy-to-maneuver vehicle, but one with plenty of design flair. The trim side glass, contrast-color body cladding and gently flattened wheel arches give it plenty of style and a sportier overall appearance than provided by the more traditional X1.

SEE ALSO: Four Things the BMW X2 Boss Loves About the New Crossover

Giving drivers an opportunity to customize their BMW X2, a pair of different exterior trim kits are offered. The M Sport package graces the vehicle with body-color trim instead of the black bits found on basic cars. According to Schluppkotten, this gives it a real “stick to the ground impression.”

In addition to this options group, there’s also the M Sport X package, which gives all the body’s hang-on parts, the wheel arches, sills and other components, a coat of Frozen Grey paint for a unique look.

Inside, passengers sit about 20 millimeters lower than they would in an X1. This gives the vehicle an even sportier feel. Further dressing things up, the dashboard features contrast stitching. Driver-selectable LED ambient interior lighting is also standard.

Even though European buyers have a plethora of powertrain options from which to choose, just one is offered in North America: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s good for a rather middling, on paper at least, 228 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque. As for the U.S. availability of a diesel, Schluppkotten said, “There is no plan,” raining on compression-ignition fanatics’ parade.

The 2018 BMW X2 is slated to launch soon. “You [will] find the first cars at the dealer on the third of March,” said Schluppkotten, both globally and in the U.S.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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