BMW has expanded its 2 series range with the Gran Coupe, a four-door fastback.
The 2-series Gran Coupe shares its front-wheel-drive platform with the 1-series hatchback and 2-series Tourer minivan. BMW's other compact cars, the 2-series coupe and convertible, are underpinned by rear-wheel-drive architecture.
The 2-series Gran Coupe is aimed at younger, design-focused buyers. It will rival the Mercedes CLA.
BMW will debut the car at the Los Angeles auto show next month. The model will be sold globally and in Canada and the United States, it will the cheapest BMW.
U.S. sales of the current 2 series line fell 21 per cent to 5,755 deliveries for the first nine months, BMW reported. In Canada, sales are down 33 per cent to just 1,015 units.
According to BMW, the market launch will start in March in Europe, the United States and Canada, while sales in China will begin at the end of 2020.
The 2-series Gran Coupe will be built in Leipzig, Germany.
One diesel and two gasoline engines will be available at launch in Europe: a three-cylinder gasoline engine with 138hp, a four-cylinder diesel unit with 187 hp and BMW's most powerful four-cylinder engine, which develops 302 hp.
A four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 228 hp will be available in the U.S.
The 2-series Gran Coupe will start at 31,950 euros (about C$46,600) in Germany, 3,750 euros more than the 1 series. BMW did not give Canadian or U.S. pricing, saying only that it would be available closer to launch.
BMW forecasts one third of the 2-series Gran Coupe will be sold in Europe, 20 per cent in the U.S. and 15 per cent in China.
The 2-series Gran Coupe "has its sights set on establishing the dynamic yardstick in its class," BMW said.
The automaker says its front-wheel-drive architecture features cutting-edge chassis technology and innovative systems that include control-system technology.
Design-wise, the model has a "dynamically stretched silhouette which, like the frameless side windows for the four doors, is lifted from the classical coupe blueprint," BMW said.
While the front is similar to the 1 series, the back of the car has newly designed rear lights that extend well into the center of the rear end.
The 2-series Gran Coupe has the same 105 inch wheelbase as its 1-series sibling and it is 71 inches wide (a fraction of an inch more than the 1 series), but it is eight inches longer (178 inches versus 170 inches); its height is 56 inches, a half inch less than the 1 series.