Munich - Like the X4 and X6, BMW’s first-ever X2 is something of a crossover that swallowed some metal-creasing steroids and now calls itself a Sports Activity Coupé. And yet the new arrival is anything but a ‘Mini Me’ clone of its larger siblings.  

The X2 rides on BMW’s UKL platform and shares its wheelbase with the X1, yet it’s actually shorter and lower, while sporting a sharper design that introduces some new styling elements to the brand, such as an ‘upturned’ trapezoidal grille that widens towards the bottom. It’s also the first BMW since the 3.0 CSL to wear a BMW badge on its C-pillar.

Despite its compact dimensions the X2 actually boasts a surprisingly roomy 470-litre boot.

BMW will offer the X2 in three flavours - Basic, M Sport and M Sport X - although only the latter two will be offered in South Africa. The models are distinguished by various design and trim elements; M Sport X, for instance, comes with Frozen Grey wheel arch mouldings, side skirts and bumper inserts, while the cladding is colour coded for the M Sport. Both upper derivatives roll on 19” wheels, and 20” rims can be specified.

South Africa will get just two engine options when the X2 hits our shores around March 2018.

The sole petrol option will be the sDrive20i, with BMW’s 141kW 2-litre turbopetrol engine driving the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The diesel derivative, with 140kW and 400Nm on tap, gets an eight-speed automatic gearbox and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system as standard.

The European market will receive a wider array of engines, including 170kW ‘25d’ and 110kW ‘18d’ diesels and a 103kW ‘18i’ turbopetrol, but none of these are earmarked for our market at this stage. 

M Sport suspension is fitted to the M Sport and M Sport X models as standard, and X2 buyers will be able to order Dynamic Damper Control.

In fact, there is a lengthy list of available gadgets and driver assistance systems, including BMW’s Traffic Jam Assistant that provides proximity control and steering assistance at speeds of up to 60km/h.

Inside the X2 inherits BMW’s sixth-generation iDrive command centre, with screen sizes ranging from 16.5cm to 22.3cm depending on whether navigation is ordered. The system is operated via BMW’s familiar iDrive rotary controller, but touchscreen functionality can be optionally ordered.

The X2 is also available with the latest version of BMW’s Connected+ smartphone integration system, offering some nifty apps such as a Trip Status service that allows the driver to share their ETA with those awaiting them.

Pricing has yet to be announced, and only then can we determine exactly where the X2 fits into the market, but our educated guess is that it'll compete with higher-end Audi Q2 and mid-range Mercedes GLA models.