Insiders have told Autocar that BMW will replace the two-door 2 Series range in 2020, and that the new coupe and convertible may be preceded in 2019 by a new sports sedan variant to be known as the 2 Series Gran Coupe.
Above and top: the 2015 Concept Compact Sedan
According to the magazine, the production version of the Concept Compact Sedan will be based on the UKL architecture, but will be exclusively built and sold in China.
On the other hand, the 2 Series coupe, convertible and, if it happens, the Gran Coupe will sit atop a longitudinal engine, rear-wheel drive architecture, giving it a clear point of difference over the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA.
Unlike its German luxury rivals, BMW has so far resisted building a sedan to slot in underneath its volume-selling model, the 3 Series. With the next-generation 3 Series set to grow once more, not to mention the success of its competitors, the thinking has apparently changed in Munich.
Above: The current M2 coupe doing its thing. Sideways.
Regular models in the new 2 Series coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe range will be powered by a selection of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. All-wheel drive will also be offered, although its availability will likely be restricted to a select number of drivetrains and to cold weather markets, such as Europe and North America.
The range-topping M2 models will reportedly use an updated version of the 272kW/465Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine employed in today's car.
There's even talk, apparently, of a plug-in hybrid variant with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine at its heart and around 50 kilometres of emissions-free driving on a full battery.