Sorry, Bimmerphiles – this one will be a front-driver.
BMW has done Gran Coupe versions of its 4 Series and 6 Series, and it's even shown a concept based on the new 8 Series. But the next model to get the four-door coupe treatment, as expected, will be the smallest of them all.
Confirmed here for the first time and previewed in this solitary teaser image, you might expect the new 2 Series Gran Coupe to be based on the existing 2 Series two-door coupe, with a couple of extra doors thrown in. Only BMW confirms that it'll actually be based on a front-drive platform.
That ought to position it more as a lower-slung counterpart to the 2 Series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer minivans sold overseas than as a four-door version of the 2 Series coupe and convertible we get here. And that might be disappointing to enthusiasts of the marque who've come to expect their Bimmers to drive the rear wheels. But we won't be the least bit surprised if it ends up at least being offered with all-wheel drive.
At any rate, BMW isn't the only German automaker bulking up the bottom end of its lineup.
Arch-rival Mercedes has similarly been expanding its most compact model range with the A-Class hatchback and sedan, CLA four-door coupe and "shooting brake" wagon, B-Class minivan, and GLA crossover (with a new GLB on the way). Audi has also expanded its offerings beyond the A3 hatchback and convertible with an A3 sedan and Q3 crossover.
For its part, the new 2 Series Gran Coupe is set to launch about a year from now, following its debut at the 2019 LA Auto Show this November – which itself bodes well for its chances of reaching the US market.