BMW's new 2 Series Convertible appears to be in the final stages of testing, as evidenced by these first spy images that have emerged just days after the all-new 2 Series Coupe was caught by Carparazzi snappers.
Essentially the same vehicle as the coupe sans roof, the new rear-wheel drive 2 Series Convertible will replace the existing 1 Series drop-top and is expected to be revealed at one of 2013's major motor shows.
BMW has confirmed the car is headed to Australia in 2014 and, as the spy photos reveal, the new two-door models will be much sportier looking than the 1 Series hatch upon which they are based.
Therefore expect the BMW’s smallest convertible to offer more interior space, wider front and rear wheel tracks and a longer rear overhang.
As the spy photos confirm, the 2 Series Convertible – which will follow next year’s release of the new 3 Series sedan-based 4 Series Coupe and Convertible - will retain the cloth folding roof of its predecessor and features aggressive new front and rear-end designs.
It is not yet known which engines the 2 Series Convertible will be offered with, but a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines mated to six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic gearboxes are likely.
The compact rear-wheel drive drop-top will also be offered with BMW's xDrive AWD system in some markets, but based on current form this is unlikely to be offered in Australia.
BMW also has plans to develop a compact sedan based on the 1 Series platform, to combat Audi's A3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, with both expected to break cover next year.
As with the two-door 4 Series-based M4, both 2 Series body styles are likely to be offered in range-topping M-badged guise, although the M2 badge might not materialise if BMW bases its smallest M model on the upcoming 1 Series sedan.
Either way, expect high-performance 2 Series models to replace the popular 1 Series M Coupe and to join the M135i hatch, while a front-wheel drive people-mover based on the Concept Active Tourer could also wear the 2 Series badge.
The name change from 1 Series to 2 Series adheres to BMW's new naming convention, which sees most two-door models adopt even-numbered nameplates and four- and five-door vehicles wear odd-numbered designations.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as BMW's popular X crossover models and the 6 Series Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe sedan.
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