First four-cylinder M Performance model claims 4.9-second 0-100 sprint, here in the first half of 2019.

BMW has unveiled the range-topping X2 M35i, the first M Performance version of its small crossover series, scheduled to land in Australia in the first half of next year.

There's a bit to talk about here, but we're starting with the engine. Where the M Performance versions of the 1er and 2er are powered by inline-six engines putting power to the rear wheels, the hot X2 makes use of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol making 225kW and 450Nm.

It's put to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission and a locking differential on the front axle, complete with launch control. With the latter active, you'll hit 100km/h in a claimed 4.9 seconds.

To ensure it handles like a proper M car, or at least a proper M Performance brand car, the X2 M35i is outfitted with a two-stage adaptive suspension. There are stiffer springs and dampers compared to the standard car, and it rides lower than standard. Finally, the rear axle has been completely redesigned, although BMW doesn't go into detail about how... We'll work on that one.

A set of 19-inch alloy wheels is standard, with 20-inch units available as an option, but the rest of the exterior is surprisingly subtle, with a slightly more aggressive M Sport bodykit, dual exhaust (100mm in diameter, for those wondering), and a unique rear spoiler setting the M35i apart from the wider X2 range.

The changes are more pronounced inside, where the driver and passenger sit in (optional) M Sport bucket seats, provided the right option boxes are ticked. Black/blue, magma red (pictured), and perforated black will be available for the optional seats, along with matching BMW M seatbelts.

Seats aside, the cabin is pure X2, which means a high-mounted iDrive display dominates the centre console above the traditional BMW climate and radio buttons below. Apple CarPlay can be added to the infotainment system as an option, along with niceties like a head-up display and BMW networked systems.

Australia

BMW has confirmed the X2 M35i will touch down in Australia during the first half of 2019.