After opening registration of interest for the all-new BMW X2 earlier this month, the new model is now being previewed on BMW Malaysia’s website. Not much in terms of local specs there, but we know that we’ll be getting the X2 as a sDrive20i, with Dakota leather in a new Magma Red hue.

The F39 X2 will be here in record time, as it was just revealed globally in late October. The first ever X2 is basically a sportier version of the F48 X1, joining the range of even-numbered coupe-SUVs such as the X4 and X6. But unlike those two, which carry largely similar styling to their regular SUV sisters (the X3 and X5 respectively), the X2 shares very little with the X1 in terms of design. BMW describes it as a new standalone model, with only a single mention of the X1 in press materials.

Two significant features make their debut here: the upturned trapezoidal BMW kidney grille and a new M Sport X trim line. The former turns the brand’s familiar nostrils on its head, widening from top to bottom, while the latter is a unique package that combines design elements from the BMW M and X families.

Click to enlarge

Building on the usual M Sport exterior package, the range-topping M Sport X trim adds on additional design elements in Frozen Grey – lower front bumper insert mirroring the shape of the kidney grille, wheelarch cladding and side skirt as well as the rear valance. Inside, it gets micro-fibre and Alcantara upholstery with yellow contrast stitching. It’s unique to the X2 – for now at least.

The regular M Sport is still the sportiest looking option in the most traditional sense, with body-coloured wheelarch trim and subtle Dark Shadow (grey) elements on the front bumper, lower side blades and rear diffuser. The base version gets a more SUV-like treatment, with plain black cladding all around. It also rides 10 mm higher, without the lowered M sport suspension.

All models, however, get the BMW roundel placed on the C-pillars, right behind the sharp and elongated Hofmeister kink. This cue, seen in classic BMW coupes such as the 2000 CS and 3.0 CSL, further underscores the sporting intentions of the X2.

Another departure from the norm is the X2’s overall body shape. It doesn’t get a sloping rear end like on the X4 and X6, but makes do with a “stretched, coupe-style roofline with window graphic” instead. Overall, it’s shorter and a full seven centimetres lower than the X1.

Inside, the X1 roots are more apparent, with both models sharing the same dashboard architecture. It’s still very much a sporty BMW, however, with a driver-focused centre console and plenty of premium highlights such as contrast stitching and novel material use (Sensatec, micro-fibre and Alcantara). The boot remains spacious at 470 litres.

Under the skin is the front-wheel drive BMW UKL platform, with the exact same wheelbase as the X1 (2,670 mm). Three engine options are available at launch – sDrive20i, xDrive20d and xDrive25d – with more variants to be added next year, including the three-cylinder sDrive18i.

The X2 sDrive20i – the one we’ll be getting – uses BMW’s 2.0 litre turbo engine with 192 hp and 280 Nm of torque, sending power to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It gets from 0-100 km/h in 7.7 seconds, with a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.9 litres per 100 km.

Elsewhere, diesel variants get BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system as standard at launch, paired with an eight-speed automatic. Both the xDrive20d and xDrive25d variants share the same 2.0 litre turbodiesel unit, tuned to 190 hp/400 Nm (0-100 km/h in 7.7 secs, 4.6 l/100 km) and 231 hp/450 Nm (6.7 secs, 5.1 l/100 km) respectively.

The usual suite of BMW ConnectedDrive and active safety systems are available on the BMW X2. These include smartphone content integration, wireless Apple CarPlay, High Beam Assist, City Braking, Active Cruise Control and Traffic Jam Assistant. What do you think of the new BMW X2 in isolation and against the Mercedes-Benz GLA?

GALLERY: F39 BMW X2 xDrive20d M Sport X

GALLERY: F39 BMW X2 sDrive20i M Sport

GALLERY: F39 BMW X2 highlights