BMW 2-Series coupe may be rear-wheel drive after all, report says

The next-gen BMW 2-Series, as seen in our rendering, will still be closely tied to the 1-Series range when it comes to design and proportions.

The BMW 2-Series is quickly becoming the most sprawling series of BMW cars, just in sheer variety. Not only does the 2-Series family, which didn’t exist until just a few years ago, provide a large hatch, a crossover and a compact MPV, it’s about to be joined by a coupe, a convertible and a sedan. That’s a lot of different body styles under one roof.

While the Gran Coupe, also knows as a sedan, will be based on a front-wheel-drive UKL platform shared with much of the current Mini range, the 1-Series range, as well as the BMW X2 and its siblings, the coupe and cabriolet will reportedly use a rear-wheel-drive platform, according to U.K.’s Auto Express.

That’s good news for those who prefer the rear wheels in their BMW passenger cars to do the driving, rather than being a four-door Mini Cooper with a BMW exterior.

The latest hint about the 2-Series coupe came from BMW chief engineer Klaus Frolich, who was asked a question about the platform for the upcoming i4 electric car.

“This is our Cluster Architecture. This is in our rear-wheel-drive cars; from the 2 successor (and) up to the X7,” Frolich said, according to Auto Express, seemingly suggesting that some 2-Series models will be rear-wheel drive.

The platform he was referring to, a very scalable one, is the CLAR structure, which underpins a wide variety of models ranging in size from the 3-Series to the 5-Series and up to the 7-Series. Believe it or not, all of those models and more — the current X3, X4, X5 and X7 — share the CLAR architecture, which is also suited to future BMW electric models, which is why Frolich was talking about the upcoming i4. What’s unique about the CLAR platform with the BMW range is that it’s not a front-wheel-drive platform — that role is played by the UKL platform for small cars — while CLAR is used with rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models.

For what it’s worth, this report suggests that the 2-Series coupe and convertible will be quite distinct from their four-door siblings — the 2-Series Gran Coupe is expected to be offered solely with xDrive all-wheel drive when it lands in the States. The coupe and convertible, on the other hand, are expected to offer enthusiasts more of a classic BMW driving experience.

The next-gen 2-Series will arrive in 2020.

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