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.
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.