Hubert Burda Media

Why sports utility coupes (or crossovers) like the new BMW X2 are all the rage


If you haven’t already heard by now, the Bavarian luxury automaker has just unveiled its latest love-child, the BMW X2. The youngest addition to the “X” family has long been overdue, given the growing popularity of the rest of the series, and the fact that filling the missing gap would have naturally completed its portfolio, and strengthened its grip on the luxury Sports Utility segment.

To set the new arrival apart from the rest of the crossovers in the market, BMW’s calling it a Sports Activity Coupe (SAC). SAC, according to the brand, is a class of SUV models with a roofline reminiscent of – you guessed it – coupes. They possess off-road and performance capabilities, as well as all the luxury offerings of a daily drive. In comparison to the X1, it’s lower, sleeker, sportier but slightly less roomy.

This is not the first time the BMW has introduced a new term for its model. Way back, it also trademarked the phrase Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) for models like the X3, X5 and X6.

Demand for SUVs, Crossovers, SAV and SAC Surging

Sales figures from the Global Auto Database evidence that the number of SUVs and crossovers sold in the first six months of this year accounted for 34.4 percent of the global car passenger’s sales (16.1 million units), a 13 percent increase from the previous year. The numbers from Singapore Land Transport Authority also registered significant growth in the segment year to year – and for good reasons. Increasing demand for fuel-efficient vehicles with high seating and luxurious features made vehicles like the BMW X2 a very attractive option.

Drive and Comfort

Over the years, we have come to expect certain things when we step into a Bimmer – among them a posh interior with high-tech features that enhance comfort and drive. The Driving Experience Control switch, for example, lets drivers toggle between a default COMFORT mode, an efficiency-enhancing ECO PRO mode and the SPORT mode. The SPORT mode was particularly useful when we needed a bit more dynamic steering and powertrain response while leaning in corners and down winding roads with terrific confidence.  The motorsports inspired interior with a panoramic roof provides enough headroom despite the compromised rear passenger legroom. The fold down 40/20/40 seats make for plenty of cargo area.  Most of the major controls are within easy reach and the infotainment system can be controlled via touchdisplay.

On the road, the 192 horsepower, 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit delivers responded well to both straights and turns. From stationary to 100 km/h it clocks in at an amicable 7.7 seconds and reachesa top speed of 227 km/h. The sporty seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission makes shifting gear a highly efficient affair.

The Look

The lack of a predecessor presented an opportunity for unprecedented styling cues on the new kid. Chief among these is an updated kidney grille, which sports a wider outline at its base and a narrower top for a broader and more distinctive look. Having the same wheelbase as the BMW X1, the new SAC is shorter and sits approximately 7cm lower.

In a first for the X2, the new design of its headlights incorporates the familiar twin circular element with the foglamps to create a characteristic six-eyed face. This reinforces its striking and sporty appearance. The combination of its coupe-like roofline, sleek body design language and low-slung proportions adds to its curb appeal. Better yet, you can also opt for the BMW X2 M Sport X option, which inherits the design elements from the BMW M, for an even sportier aesthetic. For example, add-on parts, decals and paint finishes in complementary colous often seen on rally cars, plus prominent use of Frozen Grey produces striking contrasts. That particular shade is used for features such as the specific M Sport X elements, and it is visible from virtually any angle.

At $193,888, the BMW X2 M Sport X is the kind of vehicle young professionals and entrepreneurs are after,  being the epitome of stylish, efficient and luxurious. Whether from BMW or its German counterparts, demand for crossovers and of course, the SAC, seems insatiable. It’s here to stay.

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