We’ve seen it time and time again: BMW does things its own way. While most automakers are currently hinting, teasing and announcing their new products to be premiered at the New York auto show in April, the German manufacturer announced it will be presenting a new model of its own… at the Los Angeles Auto show in the fall.
Another odd twist: just yesterday the company confirmed it was shelving the Gran Turismo version of the 3 Series, and said we could expect more models to be killed off as part of a cost-cutting initiative.
Not a day later, we get news of a new model.
And just to make things even more confusing, this new model will be a four-door version of the 2 Series, conceived originally to be offered in coupe configuration only. The newby is called Gran Coupe, and it will follow in the footsteps of similar offerings seen in the 4 Series and 6 Series.
The most notable immediate feature about the new model is that it will ride on a rear-wheel-drive platform in use for the MINI Hardtop, BMW X1 and Europe-only 2 Series Active Tourer. The next 1 Series, which will move from a RWD to a FWD configuration, is to be a close cousin of this new 4-door 2 Series.
At this stage there are few-to-no details available regarding the Gran Coupe, but we can probably assume it will be powered by a 4-cylinder engine, with xDrive AWD offered as an option. An automatic transmission will likely be the standard unit, and whether a manual gearbox comes as an option is anyone’s guess.
When it hits dealerships the new BMW will find the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class directly in its path to market share. One interesting aspect to watch out for will be the future architecture of the 2 Series coupe, which currently shares its platform with the 1 Series… which is set to go to FWD configuration.
A 2 Series running on front-wheel power would inevitably sabotage the driving pleasure that is a trademark of that model, it seems to us.