BMW added another member to their X-files and launched it in Portugal’s coolest location: ‘Village Underground Lisboa’. And it’s not just a smaller X6 either. GQ motoring ed Dieter Losskarn experienced the extrovert on city streets and country roads.
Photography: Tom Kirkpatrick & Dieter Losskarn
In a couple of quick outlines BMW designer Hussein Al-Attar puts the X2’s genetic essence to a piece of paper. I am sitting right next to him at the dinner table in Lisboa’s hotspot Village Underground, something between cool Woodstock in Cape Town and trendy Maboneng District in Jozi.
‘What we didn’t want to do, was creating a smaller version of the X6. I tried that, but it didn’t work’, says Hussein. Indeed the X2 differs significantly in style from its older and more settled brethren X6, X5 and X4. It slots between X1, on whose platform it is based, albeit slightly smaller, and the more grown-up X3, which is less sporty.
The X2 looks different from all the others, but is still easily identifiable as a BMW. It takes on the likes of Mercedes GLA, Audi Q2, Volvo XC40 and Range Rover Evoque in the attractive, small SUV crossover segment. It’s what Hussein describes as a coupé-style SAV (sports activity vehicle) with genes from both genres. Enabling a higher seating position with a dynamic coupé-like driving feel. The BMW badges on the C-pillar pay homage to some legendary and strikingly beautiful classic BMW Coupés. The 3.0-l. CSL and 2000 CS wore their blue-white propeller badge with pride on the side.
The all-new X2 appeals to a younger generation than the other Xes. Judging by the reactions in the streets of Lisbon it is definitely a head turner. Even standing still the extrovert attracts attention with its unusual design. There are the impressive 90mm exhaust twin pipes for instance. The rearward sloping roofline and the inverted kidney grille, which broadens at the bottom not the top. Further eye catching features are the massive air inlets in front, the powerful bumper and the prominent side skirts. Especially in frozen grey, like on the Galvanic Gold version I am driving, with the optional – and almost obligatory – M rear spoiler. There are two other cool and unique X2 colours available: Sunset Orange and Misano Blue. Wheel sizes reach from 17 to 20 inches. Whereupon latter ones obviously fill the squared-off wheel arches in the best possible manner.
The drive along some windy country roads around Lisbon doesn’t disappoint either. The standalone coupé is planted to the tarmac, no matter how fast you approach the corners. And another big plus for the new generation buyers: BMW Connected Drive merges their smartphones with their ride.
And what is next for Hussein Al-Attar? After an initial hesitation he mentions, that he is busy with the update of the X6, due in 2019. Judging by what he did with the X2 design, I am sure the iconic first ever BMW SAV will receive an appealing and adequate face-lift.
BMW X2 sDrive 20i & xDrive 20d
Engine 2.0-l. turbo petrol/2.0-l. turbo diesel paired with a 7-speed/8-speed Steptronic & front-wheel/all-wheel drive
Power 141/140kW and 280/400Nm
Top Speed 227/221 km/h
0-100km/h 7.7/7.7 seconds
Price from R644 252 for the M Sport trim petrol to R723 854 for the M Sport X diesel.
Village Underground Lisboa