BMW’s next-generation X2 crossover will lose its hatchback-esque styling for a more X4-like silhouette.

Once again it’ll be a more rakish version of the BMW X1, this time the recently revealed third-generation model due here later this year.

A reveal of the new X2 is unlikely to be until next year.

In addition to a shape more reminiscent of the X4 and X6, the X2 crossover has some tweaks up front to distinguish it from the more upright X1.

These include larger air intakes in the front bumper and a diamond pattern for the grille, as opposed to the vertical chrome bars found on X1s.

The prototype spied here appears to be the M Performance flagship of the X2 family, the M35i, judging by the quad exhaust outlets, larger brakes, lower ride height, and large air intakes in the front bumper.

While not a full-blown M product, the M35i is expected to offer a high-output turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine like the current X2 M35i.

This model produces 225kW of power and 450Nm of torque, and features an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Lesser X2s are expected to share their powertrains with the new X1, which offers a range of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines. The M35i should once again stand out, as BMW doesn’t offer an M Performance version of the X1.

It’s unclear if plug-in hybrid or electric versions of the X2 will be offered as on the X1.

While we haven’t been able to see inside the X2, we expect an interior largely the same as the X1 including BMW’s Curved Display with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.7-inch touchscreen infotainment system running on BMW Operating System 8.

In the X1 and related 2 Series Active Tourer the iDrive controller has been removed, which could spell the end of it in the X2 as well.

The new X1 also features a “floating” armrest with a control panel comprising key switchgear like the start button and hazard lights, while at the base of the centre stack there’s an upright wireless phone charger plus cupholders and USB-C outlets.

It’s also received a significantly increased level of active safety and driver assist technology, gaining features like blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert.

As a small, premium-brand coupe crossover, the X2 won’t have much direct competition beyond the Audi Q3 Sportback.

The new Volvo C40 is electric-only, while other small crossovers like the Lexus UX and Mercedes-Benz GLA feature more hatchback-esque styling.

To the end of September, BMW has sold 451 X2s in Australia, far behind the more practical X1 (2122 sales). It outsold only the Jaguar E-Pace (222 sales).

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MORE: Everything BMW X2

William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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