True to BMW’s word, the 2 Series Coupe returns for the next generation as a rear-wheel-drive platform model, one that will be built on the German automaker’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR) underpinnings that forms the basis of its larger siblings such as the 3 Series ranging up to the 7 Series.
The panel cladding on the car conceals the front bumper, grille and parts of the headlamps, though much of the bodywork elsewhere including the rear end appears to be production panels draped in camouflage foil. The stance of the F22-generation car is apparent, owing to its longitudinal engine and RWD driveline layout. The lower edge of the front bumper that houses the radar enclosure suggests a more normal-sized grille.
The 2 Series model line with the traditional north-south layout is a shrinking one, with the F44 2 Series Gran Coupe being based on the firm’s FAAR (front-wheel-drive) architecture, as are the F45 2 Series Active Tourer and F46 Gran Tourer.
That does leave the forthcoming 2 Series Coupe as the sole eligible candidate for the full-on M model treatment, as BMW M boss Markus Flasch said that the front-wheel-drive platform isn’t suitable for the M division. This was confirmed by 2 Series product manager Gernot Stuhl, who said that “there will still be a hardcore BMW M2 for those that want it,” which is set to arrive in 2022.
As for this particular development vehicle photographed here, this could be the second-from-top ‘M240i’ inline-six model, as suggested by its muscular wheelarches housing substantial wheels and tyres as well as large brakes, albeit without the M signature of a quartet of circular exhaust pipes.
The more modest versions in the 2 Series Coupe line-up will most continue to feature a range of four-cylinder engines, along with the optional of xDrive all-wheel-drive for selected variants. Some interior images captured by our spy photographer source reveal BMW’s current interior architecture which channels that of the G20 3 Series, compared to the other FAAR-based 2 Series models.
With the aforementioned, G42-generation M2 set to arrive in 2022, that could mean the mainstream 2 Series range would arrive a year before that in 2021, which leaves plenty of time for more 2 Series Coupe appearances in mid-development form and the accompanying gradual uncovering of more details.