Three’s a party: BMW’s third crossover-coupe, the X2, is coming next year

2016 BMW X1

No stranger to niche models, BMW is developing a new segment-defying model that’s tentatively called X2.

When it goes on sale, the X2 will be billed as a slinkier, more sport-focused version of the second-generation X1 (pictured) that was introduced recently at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It will feature a sleeker roof line than its more family-oriented sibling but its C-pillar won’t be as rakish and coupe-like as the X4‘s and the X6‘s, a concession made in order to give the passengers sitting in the back a relatively comfortable amount of head room.

Broadly speaking, the bulk of the interior components will be lifted straight from the X1 parts bin. That means the X2 will boast a familiar no-nonsense analog instrument cluster with four gauges, a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, and a center console that’s slightly oriented toward the driver.

Like the X1, the X2 will share its modular front-wheel drive platform — called UKL in BMW-speak — with the 2 Series Active Tourer that’s sold exclusively in Europe, and with the third generation of the MINI Hardtop, among others. In the United States, the X2 will launch with a transversally mounted 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine tuned to send 228 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

A front-wheel drive entry-level model is expected to join the lineup a few months into the production run. At the other end of the spectrum, BMW’s M division will introduce a hot-rodded version of the X2 that could pack over 300 ponies under the hood.

BMW is expected to preview the X2 by revealing a close-to-production concept at a major auto show in the coming months. The production model will be unveiled shortly after, and it will go on sale as a 2017 model. It will cost a little more than the X1, which carries a base price of $34,800.