The upcoming 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe has been previewed in a series of camouflaged photos overnight, ahead of a full reveal rumoured for July 2021.
BMW claims its second-generation 2 Series two-door – set to enter production in August 2021 – "continues the tradition of the brand's particularly driver-oriented, compact and powerful two-door models", kicked off by the 2002 of the 1960s and 1970s.
Underpinning the new coupe will be BMW's rear- and all-wheel-drive CLAR architecture shared with the 3 Series sedan and more closely-related Z4 coupe – resisting a switch to the front-wheel-drive architecture used by the similar-in-name 2 Series Gran Coupe.
Headlining the engine range at launch will be the M240i xDrive, pairing a 3.0-litre 'B58' turbocharged inline-six petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard-fit all-wheel drive.
Outputs in Europe are rated at 275kW and 500Nm, though if the larger, mechanically-similar M340i xDrive is any guide, expect Australian models to develop 285kW, given the lack of an emissions-busting (but power-sapping) petrol particulate filter locally.
Overseas media report four-cylinder 220i, 220d, 225i and 230i petrol and diesel variants will be offered depending on the market, likely driving the rear wheels only.
The full-bore M2 halo will return for a new generation, spy shots confirm, with rumours pointing to a late 2022 start-of-production date, powered by a detuned version of the larger M3 and M4's 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline-six, and a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.
While the 'M Performance' flagship will no longer offer pure rear-wheel drive, BMW is keen to stress the system's "rear-wheel oriented design", aided by a limited-slip M differential on the rear axle.
Above: A mid-spec, four-cylinder BMW 2 Series getting sideways, thanks to its rear-wheel-drive layout.
Adaptive dampers will be available on flagship models, while a claimed 12 per cent increase in static torsional rigidity aims to sharpen driving dynamics. The front to rear weight distribution will remain close to a perfect 50:50 distribution, the brand has confirmed.
Overseas media drives indicate a 51mm increase in the coupe's wheelbase, while front and rear track widths have grown by 52mm and 31mm respectively.
While the prototype pictured remains shod in heavy camouflage, recent spy shots confirm the validity of leaked images posted online of the new 2 Series in April 2020 (pictured at bottom), wearing slim kidney grilles that will escape the 'coffin' treatment applied to the new M3/M4 and 4 Series models.
Box arches will house wheels up to around 19 inches in diameter, while a sharp shoulder line, flush-faced door handles and sculpted LED lighting comprise other design highlights.
Inside, expect a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen to be standard across the Australian range, oriented in a similar style to BMW's latest models.
The 2022 BMW 2 Series Coupe should be unveiled in July 2021, according to overseas media – with unsubstantiated industry rumours pointing to a reveal on the 14th – ahead of a start-of-production date slated for August.
Australian details have yet to be confirmed, however local launch timing for past BMW models suggests a local launch late in 2021 or early in 2022 could be on the cards.