2018 BMW X2 breaks new design ground

Is there room in your heart for a brand new crossover SUV? BMW sure hopes so, hence the 2018 BMW X2, a brand new model in the company's line-up, borrowing from the sportier "coupe-SUV" stylings of the largest X4 and X6. Expected to hit dealerships in Spring 2018, the good news is that there'll be an M Sport X package available.

The styling makes a departure from what we've seen of the X Series until now. The proportions are noticeably different, and the kidney grille has been reshaped. 3.2-inches shorter than the BMW X1, along with 2.8-inches lower, it keeps the bulkier SUV's wheelbase so as to push the wheels out to the corners.

Factor in the lower roofline and slimmer side windows, and you have a textbook case of what automakers like to think of coupe SUVs. "The BMW X2 fuses the fast-moving forms of a coupe with the robust volumes of an X model," argues Thomas Sycha, Head of Design BMW Compact Class. "It was important to us to make these apparently conflicting aspects of the BMW X2 and the car's individual character something you experience from every angle and at first glance."

Whether you approve or not is down to the eye of the beholder. Under the hood, the initial BMW X2 xDrive28i will pack a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine. It's good for 228 horsepower from 5,000-6,000 rpm, while peak torque of 258 lb-ft. arrives from 1,450 rpm. 0-60 mph comes in 6.3 seconds, BMW claims.

There's an 8-speed Steptronic transmission as standard, with a broader gear spread that BMW says will help with economy. Specific numbers haven't been shared yet, but there'll be an ECO PRO mode to squeeze out more miles per gallon, along with SPORT and COMFORT options. Gearshift paddles and standard all-wheel-drive with variable front/back power adjustment are matched with Hill Descent Control.

Inside, there'll be SensaTec seats in black or oyster as standard, with the choice of various leathers. That includes four shades of Dakota leather with contrast stitching and part-perforation. 6-color LED lighting is another interior option, as as a panoramic roof that opens at its front section. Trunk space is 50.1 cubic feet.

A 6.5-inch display is fitted as standard atop the dashboard, with 8.8-inches an option. Navigation is also available, as is a color head-up display. BMW Connected+ can be fitted, along with a WiFi hotspot to share the X2's LTE connection, while there's also Apple CarPlay on the options list. A camera-based Driving Assistance Package includes lane-departure warning sand speed limit information, auto high-beams, front collision warnings, and pedestrian warnings with city braking. Adaptive cruise control, park distance control, and parking assistant are available too.

As for the BMW X2 M Sport X, that gets a new set of bumpers that BMW says are inspired by rally racing. The standard color is Alpine White non-metallic, with Frozen Grey contrast trim; however, there are seven metallic options to choose between, including the Galvanic Gold you see here. It sits on 19-inch M Double Spoke wheels, with 20-inch versions an option.

Pricing and specific availability will be announced closer to the 2018 BMW X2's launch in Spring 2018.