BMW unveils all-new 300hp X2 M35i and iX2 EV

New SUV is a baby X6 for £40k, right down to the light up grille

By Cam Tait / Tuesday, 10 October 2023 / Loading comments

Rather than scrapping its existing line-up and putting all its eggs into the electric power basket, BMW is buddying up each of its combustion models with an equivalent EV. Earlier this year, we saw the all-new 5 Series paired up with the electric i5, the 7 Series and i7, and even sister company Mini doing the same with its new Cooper range. Now it’s the turn of the X2, which, you guessed it, debuts alongside a new iX2 electric variant.

Just like its stablemates, the next generation X2 is almost unrecognisable compared to its predecessor. Where the old car had an ever slightly sportier silhouette compared to its X1 counterpart, the new generation essentially looks like a pint-sized X6. The roofline now takes on a more coupe-like look, while the kidney grilles have once again been reworked to appear wider and taller. The overall footprint has been upped, too, measuring 194mm longer than the old car with a 22mm increase in wheelbase, as well as being 21mm wider and 64mm taller. That goes for both X2 and iX2 models, with the only key difference on the EV being a blanked-out grille and revised rear bumper for the obvious lack of exhaust pipes. And, yes, you can spec a light-up grille if you really must.

The exterior design will probably prove just as divisive as everything else BMW has released in the last few years, but there’s no denying they know how to put a cabin together. On the X2 and iX2, the interior has been totally overhauled to bring the models in line with its more expensive siblings. The dash, for instance, now incorporates a wide, curved display that functions as both a digital instrument panel and infotainment screen. The gear selector has also been redesigned and is situated on a new ‘floating’ armrest, which should make the cabin feel a bit more airy. And, of course, going for an M Sport model will nab you a set of swanky sports seats.

So then, which is faster? Believe it or not, it’s the combustion version. Specifically, the X2 M35i xDrive, mustering 300hp and 295lb ft of torque from a  version of the firm’s B47 twin-turbo four-pot. That’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, channelling power to all-four wheels (including a rear mechanical limited-slip differential) for a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds. That sits above an entry-level X2 sDrive20i, which is powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine that’s paired up with a 19hp 48V mild-hybrid system. The two combined produce 170hp, which’ll get you to 62mph in a leisurely 8.3 seconds, though the extra punch from the mild hybrid system should give you decent acceleration off the line.

The M35i may be the quickest, but the iX2 xDrive30, the sole electric option, isn’t far behind. It packs more of a kick at 313hp and 364lb ft of torque via a pair of electric motors, hitting 62mph just 0.2 seconds slower than the M35i. It’ll likely be a fair bit heavier than the piston-powered car, but thankfully the battery is stashed below the cabin to keep the centre of gravity nice and low. It packs 64.8kWh of useable capacity, serving up a WLTP range of 259 to 266 miles of range.

When you’re running low, the iX2 can fast charge up to 130kW, with a 10 to 80 per cent top up taking 29 minutes with a compatible charger. AC charging is naturally slower at 6.5 hours for a full charge, though an optional three-phase 22kW charger lowers that to three hours and 45 minutes. Work has also been done to improve battery longevity, with ‘anticipatory thermal management’ ensuring the battery is at the ideal temperature before hitting up a charging station. The iX2 further flexes its clairvoyant powers by adjusting the degree of regenerative braking on the go, but you can manually flick between three different energy recovery modes if you’re craving some form of manual control.

On the chassis side, the front suspension has been designed ‘from scratch’, incorporating new kinematics and increased rigidity for a steering feel that’s ‘largely unaffected by torque steer.’ BMW says a 15 per cent increase in caster offset over the previous car will improve steering response and straight-line stability, while new aluminium supports for the hydromounts amount to a 3kg saving. Every little helps, and all…

All cars come with adaptive M suspension, lowering the ride height by 15mm (presumably over the X1), and you get BMW’s sports steering, which adjusts the effect of the power steering depending on speed, bundled in for free, too. The M35i, meanwhile, gets ‘bespoke chassis technology’ such as bespoke bracing elements and ‘exceptionally rigid anti-roll bar mounts’. M Sport brakes as standard, too, with four-piston M Compound brakes available for a (likely very heavy) fee. They slot in behind 20-inch wheels on the range-topping petrol car, while all other models settle for 19s.

Other optional extras include an array of driver assist modes. Driving Assistant packs in (admittedly rather basic) functionality like lane change and rear cross traffic warnings, while Driving Assistant Plus throws in semi-autonomous modes such as active cruise control and automated speed limit assist. BMW hasn’t revealed how much these packs come to yet, but we do know the X2 will be priced from £39,365, which jumps to £47,395 for the M35i and £56,540 for the iX2. Ordering now should get you one on your driveway in March 2024, or you could always grab a previous-gen model for a decent discount. This 2021 X2 M35i at £32,995 will do nicely…

  • BMW launches hybrid 5 Series, including new 550e
  • BMW X1 M35i launched with 300hp

Source: Read Full Article