BMW’s new 2 Series Coupe has been photographed undergoing testing about a year before it replaces the 1 Series Coupe in Australia.
The 2 Series will be the second redesigned BMW model to wear an all-new nameplate following the 3 Series sedan-based 4 Series Coupe, which emerged in concept form earlier this month and will go on sale in Australia in the third quarter of next year, following a mid-2013 European release.
BMW’s new model naming convention will see all two-door BMWs wear even-numbered names, while odd-numbered nameplates will reserved for four- and five-door vehicles – except for crossover X models and the 6 Series coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe sedan.
The new compact coupe will be based on the same platform as BMW’s latest 1 Series rear-drive hatchback and is likely to break cover at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show.
Like the 3 Series Convertible-replacing 4 Series drop-top, the 2 Series Coupe will spawn a convertible to replace the existing 1 Series Convertible.
BMW Australia has confirmed both 2 Series models will be released here in 2014, with communications chief Piers Scott telling motoring.com.au: "There will be replacement models for the 1 Series Coupe and Convertible in 2014."
Asked if the replacement vehicles would be the 2 Series, Mr Scott said: "I can't confirm the badge on the back".
When the new 2 Series arrives here it is likely to be powered by four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines mated to six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearboxes. BMW’s xDrive AWD system will also be offered in some markets.
Like the upcoming 4 Series, the new-look 2 Series appears to be a sportier proposition than the model it replaces and though the roofline and doors appear similar to the 1 Series Coupe, new front- and rear-end styling is in evidence.
Fresh design elements include new headlights and large air-dams at the front, and redesigned LED brake lights and diffuser at the rear.
BMW's small-car plans won't stop with the 2 Series Coupe and Convertible either, with plans afoot to develop a compact 1 Series-based sedan that will rival the upcoming Audi A3 sedan and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class.
There is no word yet on whether BMW's hot-haus M division will work its magic on the 2 Series Coupe, which would result in the M2 - a spiritual successor to BMW's 1 Series M Coupe.
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