The next-generation BMW 2 Series Coupe has been spotted by our spy photographers again, the German coupe this time running performance tests at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. As reported previously, BMW traditionalists should be glad to know that the compact two-door will continue to use a RWD platform.

The next-generation car will also come up to date with the adoption of of the Cluster Architecture (CLAR) foundation that forms the basis of models such as the 3 Series up to the 7 Series. For now, the bodywork of the forthcoming 2 Series Coupe remains concealed, though the width of the grille shroud suggests a pair of kidney grilles that is almost certainly upsized over the F22-generation car‘s.

The overall proportions of the current car are carried over, thanks to the traditional north-south driveline layout, as opposed to the transverse-engined layout of the FAAR (front-wheel-drive) archictecture that underpins the likes of the F44 2 Series Gran Coupe, F45 2 Series Active Tourer and F46 Gran Tourer.

As suggested by visual cues such as the Cerium Grey door mirror covers and trapezoidal exhaust outlets, the development vehicle photographed here appears likely to be the M240i, which should be the six-cylinder version that produces 374 PS hp and 500 Nm of torque in the G20 M340i xDrive.

Though the larger car is all-wheel-drive, it remains to be seen if the smaller 2 Series chassis will be given the same hardware, or remain rear-wheel-drive. If it gets updated to the current B58 engine, then the combination of eight-speed torque converter auto and xDrive is possible. The F22-generation M240i was offered with the choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed auto.

Being a longitudinal RWD-based layout, the next 2 Series is also ripe for transforming into a full-blown M2, reportedly known internally as the G42; this is because front-wheel-drive is not suitable for high-performance M, said BMW M president Markus Flasch. The G42 M2 has been confirmed for debut in 2022, and this range-topper can be expected to emerge as a test mule in due time.