First renderings of a new car always feature big wheels. Big wheels fill out the arches, delivering a wider, more purposeful stance. However, big wheels do not always translate to production cars for fundamental reasons like cost and their negative effect on ride comfort.
The largest alloy wheel option on the new BMW X2 M Sport X is 20-inch, which is massive for such a small vehicle. However, Patrick Häussler, Project Manager for the X2’s Driving Dynamics, says that the bespoke 20-inch tyre Pirelli made for the car retains surprisingly good ride comfort.
Unlike the X3, whose basically rear-wheel-drive platform is shared with the 3-Series, the X2 and X1 share their platform with the 2-Series Active Tourer, which means a front-wheel-drive platform with a transversely mounted engine/gearbox with hung on 4WD.
A stand alone model that introduces some new styling elements to the BMW range that we will be seeing in the future, the X2 has exactly the same wheelbase and tracks as the X1, but is 80mm shorter overall. Much of this comes out of the rear bumper, which is almost flush with the tailgate. The X2’s body-in-white is about 10% stiffer than the X1, which aids its role as the more sporting of the two.
“The new styling language seen on the X2 conveys its own message of sportiness without imposing a loss of load space in the way that the steeply sloping roofline of the X6 and X4 do,” says Thomas Sycha, Head of Design for BMW’s Compact Class. “The X2 incorporates the Hofmeister kink and is the first model to carry the BMW badge on its rear pillar since the dashing 3.0CS Coupe of the 1970s.”
The X2’s cabin is a thing of beauty. It is clear that the designers have understood that first impressions are important, and what you see and touch adds up to that all-important feel good factor. So while the dashboard top is not covered in real leather, the imitation material and its hand stitching, the Alcantara on the sports seats, the chunky leather covered sports steering wheel, and numerous other quality touches all conspire to lift the perceived quality well above the class norm.
Reinforcing the impression of the X2 premium status its doors close with a solid ‘thunk’. Now this is where things get really interesting. While a solid ‘thunk’ is usually down to good rubber sealing, most cars proceed to disappoint with a tinny ‘clang’ when their doors are closed with the windows open.
To my surprise and delight the X2’s front and rear doors sounded almost as convincing when closed with the glass down. This may be a small thing for most people, but it is a very telling one for someone who chases quality as an absolute.
One of the reasons these doors are well padded internally is the optional premium Harman Kardon sound system. This 12-speaker, twin subwoofer system is identical to the X1’s, but is tuned specifically for the X2 cabin volume and seat placement. As with other current BMW models, Apple CarPlay is a cost option on the X2.