2018 BMW X2 first drive review: at least it’s a BMW

  • 2018 BMW X2 first drive review: at least it’s a BMW
  • 2018-bmw-x2_100644845_m

I’m barreling down the longest straight at The Thermal Club’s South Palm Circuit at over 100 mph, and I’m thinking this isn’t right. The 2018 BMW X2 isn’t made for a racetrack—it’s especially not exciting after driving several laps in the new M5—but I think BMW is trying to make a point here.

The X2 is based on the X1. Both ride a front-wheel-drive architecture shared with Mini. While the X1 is dull, the X2 aims higher. It’s better looking for sure, but it’s also sportier. It’s what the X1 would be if BMW had injected some BMW into it. Thus, the racetrack

The X2 doesn’t have the robust performance equipment to handle track duty. The brake discs are vented, but BMW doesn’t even list a diameter for them in its press kit and they come with single-piston floating calipers front and rear. The X2 isn’t stacked with a bunch of auxiliary coolers, either. But I’m only out here for a few laps, and with new M5s, as well as an M2, an M3, and a 340i to drive, the X2s aren’t getting so much exercise that the brakes will give up the ghost.

If I recalibrate my butt after experiencing the violent thrust of the 600-horsepower M5, the X2’s acceleration is satisfyingly quick. The traction of the all-wheel-drive system teams with the B46 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbo-4 to launch the X2 from 0-60 in a sprightly 6.3 seconds.

The turbo-4 makes the same 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque as in the X1, and sends its power through the same Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission to the same Haldex all-wheel-drive system. The X2 I’m in has the M Sport X equipment, which includes a sport version of that transmission that offers faster shifts and steering wheel shift paddles. Out here on the track I’m not bothering with the paddles because the Sport mode is doing a fine job of keeping the gear as low as possible for max power output.

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