BMW announces X2 M35i

BMW M fans, best look away now. If you're one of those people who still gets a bit giddy on seeing an M635 CSI, can nearly make a rational case for running an E60 M5 or perhaps just regularly listens to E30 M3 noises, this news isn't going to be welcome. Because the latest M Performance BMW is a four-cylinder, turbocharged, Sports Activity Coupe - welcome to the X2 M35i. Heaven help us.

Now, if you're thinking 'Hang on, I have an M135i, it's not that old and it's definitely six-cylinder', then prepare for a bit of a surprise: it would now seem that anything below a 40i designation will have four cylinders. Perhaps even three. Given it doesn't seem that long ago (even though it probably was) that you would strive ardently to get in something with a '20i' for a sweet straight-six soundtrack, that will come as something of a bitter blow.

Of course the X2 will do the numbers. As an M35i the 2.0-litre turbo four makes 306hp and 332lb ft (so considerably more torque than a V8 M3), firing this little number X2 from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and 155mph. An eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive are standard, BMW claiming that "racing know-how flows into the development of all components". Yeah, sure...

Underneath the X2 M35i receives the usual range of M Performance upgrades, to make this hatchback made into an SUV made into SUV Coupe handle more like a hatchback again. Springs and dampers are stiffer (with optional adaptive items available), the steering has been retuned to deliver "an impressively direct and precise steering feel" and the brakes now feature 18-inch front discs, backed up by 17-inch rotors at the rear.

One interesting piece of tech making its debut on this X2 is the M Sport Differential for the front axle. Yes, again it will sound like some horrible aberration to dedicated fans, being on the wrong axle and all, but the promise of reduced traction losses in "highly dynamic drivingmanoeuvres" thanks to a locking differential sounds like something to be welcomed. Kind of.

Otherwise it's as you were for the other M Performance cars, only now with a more baffling base product. See the accents in Cerium Grey, more supportive seats and a range of optional wheels to make the ride worse and your neighbours envious. Production of the X2 M35i begins towards the end of this year, with European examples expected around March 2019. Tremendous news...

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (132) Join the discussion on the forum

  • TaylotS2K 07 Sep 2018

    Personally like the looks of this. Not sure on the OTT BMW badging though.....

  • Agent XXX 07 Sep 2018

    More confusing niche marketing from the ultimate marketing company.

  • Colonel D 07 Sep 2018

    Agent XXX said:
    More confusing niche marketing from the ultimate marketing company.
    Not a fan of it myself but all the big names are doing the same and seems to be a market somewhere for it or they wouldn't bother making these.

  • Harry_523 07 Sep 2018

    Hopefully they sell enough of these to keep funding real M cars. Also, this gives a pretty good idea of what will be under the next hot 1 series when it moves to this platform.

  • court 07 Sep 2018

    Harry_523 said:
    Also, this gives a pretty good idea of what will be under the next hot 1 series when it moves to this platform.
    This exactly. Get your RWD M135i/M140i's in before its a transverse 2.0 4WD like everything else.

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