BMW’s answer to the stylish Mercedes-Benz CLA could arrive in 2018

2014 BMW M235i coupe
The production version of the Concept Compact Sedan that BMW unveiled at last year’s Guangzhou Motor Show will most likely be manufactured and sold exclusively in China. However, the Munich-based company is allegedly preparing to take on the style-focused Mercedes-Benz CLA at home and on our shores with a second compact sedan, and a recent report coming out of Germany sheds insight into what we can expect from it.

Likely called 2 Series Gran Coupe, BMW’s upcoming sedan will essentially be billed as a more spacious version of the 2 Series coupe (pictured) fitted with four doors. It is expected to stretch markedly longer than its two-door sibling in order to offer a more spacious interior with an acceptable amount of head room for the passengers in the back. The Gran Coupe moniker suggests it will boast a sleek, coupe-like roof line instead of a more traditional three-box design like BMW’s bread-and-butter 3 Series sedan, and German magazine Auto Bild believes it will receive a practical hatchback like the Gran Coupe-badged variant of the bigger 4 Series.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe will ride on the same modular front-wheel drive platform as the new X1 and the MINI Hardtop, among others, and it will be exclusively offered with four-cylinder engines. Buyers in Europe will have access to at least one diesel-burning mill, but it doesn’t sound like a six-cylinder engine will be available. Most models will ship with all-wheel drive, a strategy that BMW’s U.S. arm has already adopted with the X1 in order to avoid diluting its image by selling a car that’s front-wheel drive only.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe will be introduced at a major auto show in either 2018 or 2019, and it will go on sale in Europe and in the United States shortly after. It will be positioned a notch below the 3 Series as an entry-level model, meaning it might be the only member of the BMW lineup priced under $30,000.

Updated 03-30-2016 by Ronan Glon: Added new technical details.

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