SUVs of all shapes and sizes may have taken the automotive world by storm, but saloons are still relevant for a significant segment of the market. That’s why Mercedes decided to throw the A-Class Saloon into the mix while renewing the CLA as its fancier counterpart. At BMW, some parts of the world have received the 1 Series Saloon, while a new global saloon is set to premiere before the end of the year.
We’re talking about the 2 Series Gran Coupe, which we know it will debut in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Meanwhile, there’s still testing that needs to be done, and Nürburgring resident Automotive Mike recently saw a bunch of camouflaged prototypes tackling the Green Hell. The cars are carrying the production bodies, but bear in mind there are extra panels on the actual bodywork to hide the final design. We’re hoping that’s the reason why the boot lid seems to be sitting so unusually high, which isn’t a pretty look to be honest.
While the next-generation 2 Series Coupe will retain the rear-wheel-drive layout, the more practical “Gran” variant will switch to a front-wheel-drive platform as seen on the recently unveiled 1 Series. In fact, most of the bits and pieces will be shared with BMW’s entry-level hatchback, much like the aforementioned A-Class Saloon and CLA have a lot in common with the A-Class hatch.
Upon launch, we’re expecting the M235i to be the top dog with 302 bhp and 332 pound-feet of torque coming from a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine. Further down the line, the 2 Series Gran Coupe might gain a beefier version with close to 400 hp in light of rumours about a hotter 1 Series hatchback with nearly as much power as the upcoming Mercedes-AMG A45 / CLA 45.
Over in Europe where diesels are still quite popular, BMW will sell the 2 Series Gran Coupe in a 220d xDrive guise fitted with a 2.0-litre unit pushing out 188 bhp. The 1er also has an entry-level specification with a three-cylinder diesel producing 114 bhp – an engine which BMW has confirmed it will sooner or later discontinue. Aside from the punchy M135i and the thrifty diesels, BMW also sells a 118i with a three-cylinder 1.5-litre rated at 138 bhp.
We’re expecting an almost identical engine lineup from the 2 Series Gran Coupe, along with all the goodies available in the new 1: adaptive full-LED headlights, electric panoramic sunroof, 10.25-inch infotainment, 9.2-inch head-up display, and a plethora of safety and assistance systems.