BMW X2 Preview

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What it is:  A rebodied derivative of the BMW X1, slightly less practical and more sporty-looking. Sort of what the X4 is to the X3, the X6 is to the X5, and blonde Rihanna is to natural Rihanna. It’ll have a low-slung shooting-brake roofline, a windswept shape, and, down the road, there might even be a convertible version.

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Why it matters:  Unlike the X4 and X6, which share much of their front-end design with their more rectilinear cousins, the X2 will have distinct styling from front to back. The X2 is also important in that it will usher in a new styling language for the BMW brand, one that includes a fresh interpretation of the kidney grille. The X2 will find itself competing in a rapidly growing segment. It’ll likely sell well in China.

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Platform:  The X2 is built atop BMW’s UKL platform that is shared with the X1, the European-market 2-series Active Tourer and Gran Tourer, and the entire Mini lineup. It’s a transverse-engine architecture with all-wheel-drive capability, and we believe every X2 will have all-wheel drive.

Powertrain:  Look for BMW’s ubiquitous turbo 2.0-liter four with more than 200 horsepower. Europe will get diesels as well; we won’t.

Competition:  Audi Q3, Infiniti QX30, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, Mercedes-Benz GLA.

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What might go wrong:  This being a close relative to the comparison-test-winning X1, we don’t foresee there being much risk here.

Estimated arrival and price:  The X2 will come in early 2018, priced roughly $2000 above an xDrive-equipped X1, which means a starting price of about $38,000.

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