BMW X1 brother, X2, joins the litter

January 15, 2018 GMT

Say hello to the rambunctious X2, the newest new member of BMW’s growing SUV family.

X2, introduced at the Detroit Auto Show Monday, shares the same bones as the German luxury maker’s entry-level X1 — but comes with a sportier, coupe-like wardrobe and new, Pentagon-shaped version of Bimmer’s signature kidney grille.

The X2 joins the X4 (coupe cousin of the X3 SUV) and X6 (X5′s coupe doppelganger) in BMW’s lineup. Another SUV relative due to make production soon is the BMW X7 iPerformance Concept, a hybrid, full-sized SUV that will instantly become the flagship of BMW’s SUV lineup. BMW surpassed Lexus in US SUV sales last year and is chasing Mercedes for top honors.

“2018 is the year of X,” BMW Group CFO Nicholas Peter said.

Also joining the X2 and X7 Concept on stage Monday was the world premiere of the updated, mid-engine i8 hybrid coupe — as well as the BMW M3 CS sedan and BMW M5 performance SUV.

The turbocharged, 4-cylinder X2 joins the X1 as the only Bimmer with a front-wheel-drive-based, transverse engine-mounted architecture. The rest of the performance brand’s sedan, sports car, and SUV lineup features RWD-based drivetrains with longitudinal engines. The X2 chassis is shared with BMW-stablemate Mini Cooper.

The X2, which was first seen as a concept at last year’s show, is outfitted to look more athletic than the X1. Though sharing the X2′s 2.0-liter engine and 8-speed automatic transmission, the X2 wears a narrower greenhouse and is 3.2 inches shorter and 2.8 inches lower than X1. The new grille also helps give the wee ute a wider-looking stance.

The dramatic i8, with its dramatic scissor doors, has been a crowd favorite at the Detroit Show since it was shown as a concept in 2012. Its updates are minor, with a small increase in battery-only range. The i8 is joined by a roadster first seen in Los Angeles last year.