We want the test driver's job.
Watch out, Mercedes CLA. BMW is hard at work prepping the 2 Series Gran Coupe, a fancier version of the 1 Series Sedan with global availability. That’ll include the United States where the 1 Series Sedan is not available. As a matter of fact, the company’s smallest sedan on sale today can be purchased only in China and Mexico.
Our spies have been stalking prototypes of the swoopy sedan for a while and recently caught on camera one of them playing on snow and ice as part of what must’ve been a fun testing session. Despite its front-wheel-drive nature, it looks like 2 Series Gran Coupe is quite playful, although the slippery surface does help the car wag its tail.
Gallery: BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe Spy Shots
Bear in mind this isn’t just any ordinary version, but what looks to be the hotter M235i set to inherit the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine from the X2 M35i. You’re looking at 302 horsepower and 332 pound-feet (450 Newton-meters) worth of compact sedan, with an eight-speed automatic transmission and xDrive as standard. The feisty crossover needs 4.9 seconds until 62 mph (100 kph), but the 2 Series Gran Coupe might prove to be a tad quicker.
Speaking of xDrive, it is believed the model will be sold in the United States exclusively with an all-wheel-drive layout while in Europe cheaper versions are set to feature a FWD arrangement. Rumor has it the model is bound to go on sale in the U.S. for the 2020 model year following a world premiere this September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Hatchback fans will be sad to hear the next iteration of the 1 Series hatchback won’t make it stateside, much like Mercedes is not selling the A-Class hatchback in the U.S. where they do sell both an A-Class Sedan and the CLA. The silver lining is the smallest “four-door coupe” from Bavaria will be similar to the hatch, but in a more stylish package.
As a final note, it’s worth mentioning this isn’t the only “Gran Coupe” BMW is working on taking into account an 8 Series Gran Coupe is right around the corner to fill in the void left after the 6 GC’s demise.