BMW X2 Concept revealed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on October 3, 2016

Visitors at the 2016 Paris Motor Show that opened today were the first ones to see the BMW Concept X2. This is the latest addition to the compact car segment and has a distinct styling that sets it apart from the previous X models.

It also takes advantage of the carmaker’s experience and expertise in making coupes. What you get is a compact concept vehicle that is sporty and aggressive.

BMW Group Design senior vice president Adrian van Hooydonk says that the Concept X2 is perfect for active people who are looking for practicality and a fun driving experience. Van Hooydonk adds that the new concept car shows an exciting and new aspect of the BMW brand.

Exterior Design

BMW Concept X2 sports a design that successfully fuses contradicting elements into a coherent and unified statement. Head of BMW Design Karim Habib explains that the BMW Concept X2 mixes the ground hugging proportions and dynamic body language of a coupe with the robust make of the X model. That makes the BMW Concept X2 a sporty and bold vehicle and it gives designers the chance to come up with new design suggestions for the brand.

The one of a kind character of the Concept X2 is most readily seen in the vehicle’s proportions. It has big wheels and uses the recognizable two-box design that identifies it as an X model. It also has a stretched roofline, long wheelbase, and short overhangs, as well as a forward sloping C-pillar. These give it a ground hugging and sporty feel. Its eye-catching Luminous Red body being accentuated by darker colored cladding surfaces renders the car even slimmer when viewed in profile.

The Side View

Its upper portion of the flanks has sporty elements. The appearance of the stretched roofline and slim window helps create an elongated feel. The glasshouse thins out as it goes to the rear, giving the car a sporty shoulder.

The graphic surrounds on the windows, as well as the embedded two-piece mirror bases are made with brushed aluminum, giving the side a touch of added elegance. The window graphic has the signature BMW Hofmeister kink, which takes its cue from earlier BMW cars. The big roof spoiler has the same color as the body and it lies flat above the rear window. The air-channeling spoiler extends from the C-pillars, lending the Concept X2 an air of sportiness.

When you look at the lower portion of the sides, you can find familiar X-model features. Big wheel arches, underfloor protection, and bold surfaces offer a striking contrast with the upper portion’s design elements. The car’s flanks have surfaces that are smoothly sculpted and that have precise edges, giving the car an air of athleticism while also underlining the wheel arches.

These wheel arches have 21-inch wheels that feature a double spoke and two-color design. The light alloy wheels echoes the contrast between dynamism and solidity that you see all throughout the car. The Concept X2 also has chunky treaded tires that make it ideal for off track fun, while the body color door sills have included hexagonal elements that help make the car look more robust.

The Front: Presence and Dynamism

Up front, the BMW Concept X2 has a design that brings together the dynamic design elements and the extensive use of forms. Subtle edges and contoured volumes manifest presence and athleticism. The raked windshield looks like it extends to the roof and matches the big air intakes and the double kidney grille making the front appear like it’s closer to the ground. The kidney grille is located a little lower compared to the headlights, while the middle air intake is closer to the ground than the outer intakes. This configuration has made the car look lower, highlighting the vigor of the front styling.

The kidney grilles turn the traditional BMW grilles upside-down and it widens from bottom to top. This highlights the car’s standalone nature and the width you see up front, as well as the car’s solid and stable stance. The grille has angled bars that are graphically sculptured, giving it the unmistakable shark nose effect as well as more depth and richness.

The headlamps tubes have flat contours that make it look more hexagonal than the traditional round look. It uses laser light technology while the headlights have another technical accent in the blue X you see in the middle of the tubes.

Its front apron is where you would find the big central air intake just beneath the kidney grille. This brings cooling air into the Concept X2. You also have smaller air intakes on both sides, making the car appear broader. The dynamic design of the apron is broken by the horizontal and robust slats of the air intakes, which underline the front end’s X-model origins.

The Rear End: Powerful

The back portion of the Concept X2 further gives the external design an air of distinction. Here, you would see the slim back windows, horizontal lines and other elements that highlight the car’s width and reduces its perceived height, while also underlining its sporty character.

From the back, you can see that the rear window extends elegantly from the spoilers and gives the Concept X2 an athletic look. The tapering of the glasshouse is very prominent along the sides. This eye-catching detail gives it a powerful shoulder and highlights the Concept X2’s muscular and broad stance. The rear lights are located below the glasshouse and has a new redesign of the traditional L shape lights seen in earlier BMWs. The BMW logo is placed between these rear lights

The tailgate and rear apron looks like it is seamlessly integrated, helping give it a solid look that clearly underscores the Concept X2’s tightly drawn surface language. Then you have the dark cladding just beneath the rear apron that makes it obvious that the whole back portion is higher, making the upper section have a thinner appearance. The rear apron takes the same color as the body and it gives an eye-catching flourish that completes the lower parts of the rear. Further, you have a big tailpipe at both ends, making the car look broad. The surrounding surfaces echoes the three-way split design we see at the air intakes up front.

Why it matters

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Press Release

The BMW Concept X2. A new dimension to joy.

The BMW Group has chosen the Paris Motor Show 2016 to present the BMW Concept X2. This new addition to the compact segment has a distinctive design that stands apart from that of the other X models and also draws on the BMW Group’s history of coupe-making. The result is a compact concept exuding urban sporting appeal.

“The BMW Concept X2 is a vehicle for active people looking for a combination of enjoyment and practicality,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “The concept displays a new and exciting facet of the BMW brand within the compact segment.”

The design – a successful blend of dynamic appeal and solidity.
The design of the BMW Concept X2 fuses apparent contradictions into a single coherent statement. “The BMW Concept X2 combines the fast-moving body language and low-slung proportions of a coupe with the robust construction of an X model. This is a sporty vehicle with a bold character, and it allows us to open up some fascinating new design possibilities for the BMW brand,” says Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design.

The distinctive character of the BMW Concept X2 already shines through in the car’s proportions. While its large wheels and familiar two-box design underline its functional X model character, a long wheelbase, stretched roofline, short overhangs and heavily forward-slanting C-pillar give the body a sporty, low-to-the-road feel. The interplay of the darker cladding surfaces and striking Luminous Red body colour make the Concept X2 look even slimmer from the side.

Two facets to a singular character – the side view.
The upper section of the car’s flanks is dominated by sporty design elements. The elongated roofline and slim window graphic create a stretched feel. The glasshouse tapers towards the rear, forming an athletic shoulder section. The window graphic surrounds and integrated two-piece mirror bases (both made from brushed aluminium) add an extra touch of class. The thickness of the aluminium profile plays a contrasting role here. The window graphic is rounded off by a dynamic interpretation of the hallmark BMW Hofmeister kink. Like the logo on the C-pillar – a classically sporty coupe design cue straight out of the BMW history books – this represents a singularly unmistakeable detail. The large, air-channelling roof spoiler in body colour lies flat over the blackened rear window. Extending from the C-pillars, it gives the rear of the BMW Concept X2 its sporty contours.

Lower down the sides of the car, customary X-model features hog the limelight. Muscular surfaces, large wheel arches and stylistic underfloor protection around the door sills form an intriguing contrast with the dynamic elements further up. Focusing for a moment on more detailed features, the surfaces of the car’s flanks bring together large, smoothly modelled sections with precise edges, showcasing the car’s athletic presence. The dramatic surfacing also emphasises the almost squared-off wheel arches familiar from the car’s BMW X stablemates. In them sit large, 21-inch light-alloy wheels, whose striking, double-spoke, bi-colour design with a strong sense of three-dimensionality continues the contrast between dynamic appeal and solidity into the car’s details. Tyres with chunky treads point to the potential for fun off the beaten track, while door sills in body colour with integral hexagonal elements set the seal on the robust appearance of the car’s sides at their lowest point.

Dynamism and presence – the front end.
The front-end design of the BMW Concept X2 likewise fuses dynamic elements with a robust use of forms. Clearly contoured volumes and subtle edges create a front-end impression with presence and sporting appeal in abundance. The heavily raked windscreen appears to extend seamlessly into the dark panoramic roof and teams up with the newly interpreted double kidney grille and large air intakes to give the front end a slow-slung look. The kidneys are sited a little lower than the headlights, and the central air intake is closer to the road than the two outer intakes. This makes the centre of the car appear lower, underlining the dynamic verve of the front-end design.

The kidneys turn the familiar trapezoidal shape of BMW grilles on its head and instead widen from top to bottom. This clear statement therefore accentuates the standalone nature of the BMW Concept X2, as well as the width of the front and the car’s solid stance. Graphically modelled and heavily angled bars within the kidney grille create an undeniable “shark nose” effect, bringing additional depth and sculptural richness to this area of the car.

The flat contours of the headlight tubes help to give the classical BMW twin circular look a more hexagonal form. The laser light technology used by the headlights enables very slim light graphics, while the blue X in the centre of the hexagonal tubes adds a further technical accent.

The front apron is dominated by the large central air intake below the kidney grille, which helps to quench the Concept X2’s thirst for cooling air. The smaller, triangular air intakes on either side highlight the car’s broad stance. The robust, horizontal slats of the air intakes provide a solid counterpoint to the dynamic design of the front apron and add further detailed emphasis of the front-end’s traditional X-model character.

A powerful statement – the rear end.
The rear of the BMW Concept X2 rounds off the exterior design in distinctive style. Width-accentuating elements such as the slim rear window and horizontal lines reduce the perceived height of the BMW Concept X2 and underscore its sporting pretentions. From this angle you can also see how the rear window emerges elegantly from below the air-channelling spoiler and underlines the car’s sporting character. The prominent tapering of the glasshouse along the sides of the Concept X2 also catches the eye. It forms a powerful shoulder area, allowing it to highlight the car’s broad, muscular stance. Below the glasshouse, the sharply drawn rear lights radiate dynamic intent. The fresh interpretation of the lights’ familiar “L” shape frames the LED element as an illuminating three-dimensional sculpture that projects from the rear to eye-catching effect.

Located between the rear lights is the BMW logo. Below, the almost uninterrupted transition from tailgate to rear apron creates a cohesive overall picture which spotlights the car’s crisp surface language with particular clarity. The dark cladding below the rear apron lifts the whole rear end visually, while at the same time giving its upper section a slimmer look. The body-colour rear apron provides a dynamic flourish to round off the lower reaches of the rear. A large tailpipe at either outer extreme emphasises the car’s broad stance, while the surrounding surfaces reference the three-way split and overall form of the front air intakes.

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