2020 Auto News 2021 Auto Sales BMW

New 2021 BMW 2 Series Coupe to stick to its rear-wheel-drive roots

Next-generation BMW 2 Series Coupe will reject front-wheel drive in favour of a traditional sports car layout, and our exclusive images preview how it could look

BMW currently has a focus on developing a fleet of new electric vehicles, but the German manufacturer hasn’t forgotten its core customer base, because an all-new 2 Series Coupe is on the way. 

The new model is aimed squarely at the driving enthusiast, because it will be rear-wheel drive, while manual gearboxes and a straight-six petrol engine will appear.

Coming in 2021, the arrival of the new coupe means the 2 Series model range will continue to be the most diverse in BMW’s line-up. It will sit alongside the four-door 2 Series Gran Coupe and the firm’s duo of 2 Series-badged MPVs – the Active Tourer and seven-seat Gran Tourer. However, beneath the skin the coupe will share almost nothing with those models.

Speaking to Auto Express, 2 Series Gran Coupe product manager Gernot Stuhl confirmed BMW’s plans to introduce a new compact 2 Series Coupe that will shun front-wheel drive and downsizing trends.

“There will be a successor that will be on a rear-wheel-drive platform,” Stuhl revealed. “So customers who want and need a new 2 Series Coupe will find that in our line-up, as well as those who want a six-cylinder engine.”

While the Gran Coupe uses BMW’s front-wheel drive UKL platform, which is shared with MINI, the rear-drive Coupe will make use of a heavily modified version of BMW’s CLAR architecture. That underpins the latest 3 Series compact executive, as well as the recently-revealed 4 Series Coupe.

The standard 2 Series Coupe engine line-up will rely on 1.5-litre three-cylinder power, as well as a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and maybe a 2.0-litre diesel, the latter two taken from the 320i and 320d models. A hot M235i version is likely to use the 302bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine seen in the M235i Gran Coupe.

Six-cylinder power may be kept in reserve for the flagship M2 Coupe. It’s likely to make use of a detuned a version of the 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six found in the X3 M and X4 M SUVs. This motor will also be used in the next M3 and M4 models.

The M2 Coupe will be offered in standard and Competition variants, although BMW UK only takes the flagship Competition versions of current M cars.

Power will likely be capped at around 420bhp to keep the M2 competitive with the Mercedes-AMG A 45 and next Audi RS 3, as well as to ensure there is distance between it and the M3 and M4 models. A six-speed manual gearbox should be available.

Our spy shots reveal that the proportions of the new 2 Series Coupe will alter due to the CLAR platform; a longer bonnet, sloping shoulder lines and more angular bodywork can be picked out on these early prototypes. However, our exclusive images are influenced by in-depth design leaks of the newcomer, and highlight the unique features that BMW will introduce on the new coupe.

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