BMW's Concept X2 Previews a Meaner Crossover; 3 Series Gran Turismo Goes Wide

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

It looks like BMW isn’t interested in slotting a slightly larger crossover above the X1 that resembles both it and the larger X3.

The automaker’s Concept X2, unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, is a departure from the brand’s existing utility lineup, with styling designed to appeal to a sportier buying demographic.

If the concept’s styling cues carry over into the production X2, it might be the first BMW utility worthy of the watered-down “coupe-like” term.

The vehicle is designed “for active people looking for a combination of enjoyment and practicality,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, in a statement. With styling designed to visually boost the vehicle’s width, the Concept X2 looks hunkered down and mean, not to mention athletic.

Muscular fender bulges, a steeply slanted rear window and lowered greenhouse removes much of the boxiness seen in other BMW X vehicles. Up front, the signature BMW kidney grille has its organs reversed, with the openings now wider at the bottom than the top. Below it, a wide central air intake is flanked by two massive (and tall) air scoops. Unlike other X models, these headlights are compressed into a Clint Eastwood-like squint.

Comments made by van Hooydonk clearly show BMW wants to try something new. Expect similar, but likely less dramatic styling when the production X2 appears, probably within the next two years.

BMW didn’t come to Paris with just one item for show-and-tell. The automaker’s 2017 3 Series Gran Turismo liftbacks sport refreshed styling and new engine offerings, though it hasn’t delivered specific on the powerplants.

The models stretch 200 millimetres (7.9 inches) longer than the 3 Series sedans, with updated styling designed to stretch the vehicle’s width. A greater emphasis on horizontal lines, coupled with LED headlamps, foglights and taillights, spice up the vehicle’s exterior, while new materials and accents bump up the luxury feel inside the cabin.

BMW clearly felt that the Gran Turismo badge warranted a little more visual athleticism.

Offered with three gasoline engines and five diesels spread across various markets, the Gran Turismo range can be had with rear-drive or xDrive all-wheel drive. On the technology front, the new models are the first midsize Bimmer to offer the BMW Navigation system Professional infotainment package.

[Images BMW Group]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • MazdaThreeve MazdaThreeve on Sep 30, 2016

    It's like the manufacturers are trying to see exactly how low they can make these until they find the red line where the customer says "Hey! That's just a car you want $5k extra for!", at which point they'll make sure the ground clearance is .10" off of that.

  • NickS NickS on Sep 30, 2016

    ... and the race to top "ugliest CUV ever" will go one for another day. I can't wait for the day that someone with two bits of sense left in them puts their foot down and stops this ugly crap from showing up on the streets.

  • Carson D I hadn't seen a second-generation Courier with a Mazda engine before. I've seen a few with Ford engines. There was one at the Cox Driving Range that they used to collect golf balls. Golf would definitely be more entertaining to watch if they used moving targets.
  • Tassos ooops, Tim, you missed this one. Would make a lovely "Tim's used car of the day". It satisfies all the prerequisites except the wildly overpriced bit.
  • Tassos ASTON AND BOND BY A MILE. While Aston Martin sells a TINY FRACTION of what even the rarified Ferrari and Lambo sell, it is unbelievably well known. Credit the idiotic, but hugely successful and sometimes entertaining James Bond Movies.
  • Tassos 1988? Too young for me. It's all yours, Tim... BAHAHAHAHA!
  • Gray Awesome. Love these. But, if I had the money for a Fox-body, there is a clean '84 GT 350 here for little more than half the price.
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