The model line consists of the 2 Series Active Tourer – the company's first front-drive model – and its extended counterpart, the 2 Series Gran Tourer, which was introduced just last week at the Geneva Motor Show.
Though available with all-wheel drive, their front-drive underpinnings make them a radical departure for the Bavarian automaker, which has made a name for itself on rear-drive architecture. The development is not unlike the path which Mercedes has pursued with models like the A-Class hatchback, B-Class minivan, CLA four-door coupe and GLA crossover.
BMW evidently thinks, however, that even in its longer Gran Tourer form, the 2 Series hatchback is still too small for the US market, where minivans have grown far beyond their miniature dimensions.
The 2 Series name will continue to be offered on the rear-drive coupe and convertible that were spun off of the 1 Series and which are unrelated to the front-drive hatchback and minivan. The X1, however, is slated to switch to the front-drive platform shared with the company's Mini brand.