Breathe easy, everyone.
BMW has been undergoing some changes lately, aside from the rapid development of hybrid plug-in and other electrified vehicles. Perhaps a couple of the best examples are the 1 and 2 Series. The new 1 Series hatchback, which won't be sold in North America, has switched to a front-wheel-drive platform. The upcoming Mercedes CLA-fighting 2 Series Gran Coupe (in reality a sedan)? Same platform. This has led to much speculation and genuine concern regarding the next-gen 2 Series coupe and convertible. Currently, the 2 Series remains very popular and the M2 Competition is, without question, one of the best models in the entire lineup. Will the next M2 be FWD-based? Nope. Breathe a collective sigh of relief, everyone.
Auto Express has learned from BMW chief engineer Klaus Frolich the German automaker has realized not to mess with success.
As he was being questioned about the structure of the upcoming i4, Frolich stated "This is our Cluster Architecture. This is in our rear-wheel-drive cars; from the 2 successor (and) up to the X7." Also known as the CLAR architecture, this common RWD platform currently underpins the 3, 4, 5, and 7 Series. Even the X3, X4, X5, and X7 utilize the CLAR platform, which also turns out to be suitable for electrified vehicles. BMW's FWD small cars are underpinned by the UKL platform instead.
Given Frolich's statement, it's clear now the 2 Series Gran Coupe will be quite unique compared to the next-gen 2 Series coupe and convertible.
The 2 Series GC will be sold in North America but it'll be offered exclusively with AWD, which makes sense. The CLAR-based 2 Series coupe and convertible will be for the enthusiasts. Specific details about the next-gen 2 Series are still fairly vague, aside from the chosen platform, but given that the current cars debuted for 2014, replacements should arrive within the next year or so. The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is also slated to launch next year.