Crossovers

BMW is making a quicker, more fun X2 M35i for the haters

The new M Sport version of BMW's X2 crossover should be a hoot to drive and give the Mercedes GLA45 AMG a run for its money.

Somewhat surprisingly, the BMW X2 has been one of the more divisive crossovers to come through our office in recent memory. Granted, most of the controversy revolves around the placement of that C-pillar badge, but the base X2 didn't always feel as exciting as something that wears a Roundel should be.

Don't confuse the M35i with just an appearance package. Most of the changes happen under the crossover's skin.

BMW

BMW might have a fix for that though, with the new X2 M35i that it announced on Thursday. While the base X2 has to trundle along with just 228 horsepower to pull around its weight, the M35i gets a hotted-up version of BMW's 2.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces in excess of 300 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque at just 1,750 rpm. This new mill coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission means that the sprint to 60 miles per hour takes just under 5 seconds.

With M Sport diffs at both ends, quicker steering and more power, the X2 M35i should be a blast on twisty roads.

BMW

Also of note is the inclusion of not only a rear BMW M Sport differential in the rear, but for the first time ever, an M Sport diff for the front axle as well. This should mean that the X2 M35i will feel livelier on a twisty bit of road than a standard XDrive car.

As you'd expect, BMW is also sprinkling its M-but-not-quite-M suspension and brakes on the X2, again aiding in the quest to make the little crossover fun to drive. The suspension is stiffer and lower and features different rear lower control arms. An adaptive version of this suspension will be an option. The folks in Munich also managed to sharpen up the steering by quickening the ratio. Nice.

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Once your eyes adjust to that searing shade of red, you'll notice that these are the seats you'd typically find in a small crossover.

BMW

The rest of the typical cosmetic M Sport stuff is on hand, including Exclusive M Sport seats that should be extra supportive and comfy. BMW hasn't given us pricing information but it did say the X2 M35i would enter production in November.