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BMW blows gravel in our face with 2 Series teaser video

The BMW 1 Series coupe and convertible may have gone out of production, but we won’t have to wait long to see their replacements.

BMW has released a teaser video of its new 2 Series coupe, and says the new small car will debut October 25.

Like the bigger 4 Series, BMW has given the 1 Series replacement a numerical upgrade to fit its new naming scheme. In BMW Land, coupes and convertibles get even numbers, while sedans get odd numbers.

The video only offers a short, sun-drenched glimpse of the 2 Series, but even that shows that the styling is more evolutionary than revolutionary. The 1 Series coupe’s upright greenhouse and traditional three-box layout are still there.

Combined with the 1 Series’ short wheelbase, these styling cues were meant to evoke classic BMWs like the 2002. The 1 Series proved a little too expensive and complex to be a true 2002 successor, so it will be interesting to see if BMW makes the same retro comparisons with this new model.

Based upon the teaser photos we saw yesterday, we don’t think the new 2 Series is as visually dynamic as the 1 was.

BMW also liked to brag that the 1 Series was the only compact car available with rear-wheel drive, although when the company conducted a poll, 40 percent of owners thought it was front-wheel drive.

Even if they had noticed, the distinction was fairly academic in the tiny compact luxury car segment.

However, things are changing. The 2 Series will have some serious competition.

Mercedes-Benz has redefined compact luxury cars with its CLA-Class “four-door coupe,” and Audi is set to roll out throughly redesigned A3 and S3 sedans.

Those cars will emphasize luxury and practicality as much as sporty driving, so BMW might try to position the 2 Series as the enthusiast’s alternative. “Why buy a four-door that’s based on a front-wheel drive hatchback when you can have a sporty Ultimate Driving Machine?”, the ads might say.

BMW will unveil the 2 Series on October 25, but it probably won’t be seen anywhere other than the Internet until the Detroit auto show in January. Sales will begin in the spring of 2014, at the earliest.

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