The 2 Series Gran Coupe and its sporty M235i sibling were spotted in California.
New spy footage captured on American soil shows some of the aesthetic changes coming to the 2 Series Gran Coupe.
Heavily camouflaged examples of the entry-level Bimmer were spotted on a highway in California, one of which is the performance-oriented BMW M235i. From the front, we can see streamlined headlights with redesigned lighting signatures.
It's difficult to tell, but it appears the bulbous grille will be restyled, providing the fascia with a more modern aesthetic as the brand evolves its styling to match the Vision Neue Klasse concept. It also appears that the bumpers may get a more square design for the intakes with horizontal bars, calling to mind the full-fat M2 coupe.
The Melbourne Red example spied would appear to be the M235i, distinguished by its quad exhaust pipes and sportier wheels. It seems the rear end retains its awkward design, with its high trunk line, slim taillights, and bulky bumpers. The interior benefits from a new steering wheel design and BMW's new Curved Display.
Despite the familiar styling, it would seem the baby Gran Coupe is an entirely new model. Like the new 1 Series, the 2GC will reportedly skip the facelift and dive straight into a new generation.
The current 1 Series and 2 Series GC are based on the UKL2 platform. We anticipate the replacement models will ride on a heavily revised version of this architecture, similar to the one used by the latest BMW X1 and X2.
We expect the 2 Series Gran Coupe to get several under-the-skin updates. While it's a competent premium commuter car, the high-end M235i doesn't meet expectations, with handling and dynamics unbefitting of a BMW.
The current M235i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, producing 301 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, but we expect it to receive Munich's most powerful four-pot from the newly introduced X1 M35i (and its X2 M35i sibling). That means 312 hp at the minimum.
Rumors suggested the 2 Series GC would be killed off due to the platform's inability to adapt to electrification. However, legislative indecision means that ICE vehicles will have a longer shelf life than expected, and we suspect BMW will introduce hybridization at some point before creating an all-new Neue Klasse-based EV sometime near the end of this decade.
As for a release date, we assume that the new 2 Series Gran Coupe will be launched early in 2024.