The all-new BMW X2 was the darling of the BMW display at this month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. What’s not to like? As the newest member of BMW’s family of X vehicles, the BMW X2 xDrive28i is good-looking and sporty and can go almost anywhere thanks to xDrive, BMW’s “intelligent” all-wheel drive system. However, BMW must have figured that the new X2 didn’t quite cover the entire niche for which it was intended, because now it plans to introduce a second X2 model later this spring, and it will be a front-wheel drive-only version.
As reported by Automotive News, citing John Kelly, the X2 product manager for BMW of North America, we will see a more basic vehicle designated the BMW X2 sDrive28i. The engine will be the same in both versions. In fact, there will be little difference between the drivetrain of the X2 sDrive and it’s slightly larger but slightly less-expensive Sports Activity Vehicle cousin, the BMW X1 sDrive28i, which is BMW’s only U.S. model that uses front-wheel drive. (That’s not counting the BMW Group’s front-wheel drive Minis, which also use the same platform as the X1 and X2.)
The BMW X2 xDrive28i is expected to arrive in BMW dealerships in March with an MSRP of $39,395 including destination and handling fees. The X2 sDrive should come in about $2,000 less for starters, although we haven’t yet seen an announcement from BMW on the exact price.
The X2 xDrive28i will cost about $2,500 less than the BMW X1 xDrive28i, which follows the same pattern established by the X4 and X6 Sports Activity Coupes, which are also slightly smaller than the X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles upon which they are based. More sporty equals more money.
Nicholas Peter, BMW AG Board of Management member for finance, told Automotive News that per unit, the new X2 will make an “above average” contribution to BMW’s bottom line.
BMW of North America President and CEO Bernhard Kuhnt looks to the X2 for a different type of contribution. He hopes that most of the new X2 buyers will be first-time BMW owners. Since the average age of BMW customers in the U.S. is in the upper 40s, BMW naturally wants to draw younger buyers to the marque.
While it goes against the grain to some hardcore BMW enthusiasts who cringe at the phrase “front-wheel drive,” the new BMW X2 sDrive28i will make sense for new owners or leasers who live where all-wheel drive is not seen as a necessary safety feature and the extra savings might mean the difference between driving a BMW or driving something else.