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Who would have thought 2020 would have turned out to be so crazy, right? 

 

I am all for change, but the last decade has brought adjustment in droves. The Covid-19 virus will further stimulate revolution, perhaps deep down for the better - less is more, you know the saying? 

 

BMW’s X2 M35i is not really that on the surface. It’s a rather decadent sports crossover - like a hot hatch only a cross. Do not confuse it with an SUV. It’s not. By my definition, an SUV sits higher on the road and has some off-roading prowess. I am afraid the X2 M35i would not fare well in rough terrain. In fact, mounting a tall pavement could lead to ripping a bumper off or at least scuff it. Albeit unlike a hot hatch, the X2 does have enough elevation to handle poor road surfaces and speed bumps. That goodness for small miracles.

 

The X2 was the first BMW in the series to receive the all-new 2.0-L four-cylinder turbocharged motor, badged M35i, which replaces the previous 3.0-L six-cylinder turbocharged motor. It’s now also in the new 1 and 2 Series models and will continue to be rolled out into other series lines. 

 

Not down on power, this unit is good for 225kW and 450Nm. These figures are impressing and in line with the engine it replaced. The 6-cylinder growl has unfortunately gone, but it is replaced with a fabulous exhaust note that pops out via two large split exhausts pipes. 

 

Audio enhancement has become common place these days - engineers add a subtle note of engine growl through the car’s speaker system in Sport mode - it adds atmosphere. This is to substitute what is lost by replacing a 6-cylinder motor with a four pot. It’s hard to have your cake and eat it too, but thankfully there’s a soundtrack as standard.

 

Dynamically the X2 M35i is an M car - fast, somewhat furious and thrilling to drive. 225kW, a sublime 8-speed automatic gearbox, an all-wheel drive set-up and a banging exhaust system means this little crossover is loads of safe fun.

 

My feeling is that a car like the X2 is an experiment into what will become a category of vehicle going forward. The sedan and mid-sized hatchback category have seen their day in the sun. The SUV market has boomed and is now morphing into unique subcategories. The experiment - could a compact high-performance SUV replace a just as powerful Golf sized hatch? Enters the X2 M35i! 

And consider in time. Not too far from now, this type of vehicle will be electrically powered. 

 

We are witnessing the evolution of the motor car! 

 

Love it or think it’s ridiculous, but the X2 M35i is essential to test the market and lead with innovative concepts. If you think with a traditional cap the concept of a low riding sports SUV sounds superfluous, well it is not!

 

Watch this space! 

 

The competition 

 Mercedes-AMG GLA, Audi Q2, Jaguar E-Pace

 

 

The pricing

 X2 sDrive18i R619 000

X2 sDrive20i R659 000

 

X2 sDrive 20d R689 000

X2 xDrive 20d R719 000

 

X2 M35i R819 000

 

The service and warranty

A 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan is included in the asking price.

www.bmw.co.za

 

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