The next-generation BMW 2 Series Coupe has been sighted running tests again, this time for cold-weather testing. Driveline traditionalists will be glad to know that there will be a model below the 3 Series – this one – that will continue to be built on a rear-wheel-drive platform.

This compact two-door will be brought up to date with its more recent stablemates with the adoption of the Cluster Architecture (CLAR) base that forms the foundation for the likes of the G20 3 Series, all the way up to the G11/12 7 Series.

This means the overall proportions of the current car will be carried over, as opposed to the shorter-nosed shape from the transverse engine layout of the FAAR (front-wheel-drive) platform that is the base for models like the F44 2 Series Gran Coupe, F45 2 Series Active Tourer and F46 Gran Tourer.

As a result, the next 2 Series will likely continue to feature BMW’s range of inline four- and six-cylinder engines, and this example photographed here wears the telltale Cerium Grey trim items of an M Performance model, indicating that this is the M240i, or new-generation turbocharged 3.0 litre equivalent.

This could be the B58 that produces 374 hp and 500 Nm of torque in the G20/21 M340i xDrive sedan and wagon, which could mean the possibility of all-wheel-drive; an eight-speed automatic gearbox is expected to stay the course here. The B58 also powers the 2021 Toyota GR Supra, where it makes 388 PS; F22-generation M240i has also been offered with a six-speed manual.

The next-generation 2 Series Coupe will be crowned by the M2 that was confirmed last March, and which will bear the model code G42. Full-blown M cars will remain RWD-based, as front-wheel-drive is not suitable for the high-performance sub-brand, said BMW M president Markus Flasch. This will get the even more potent S58 3.0L twin-turbo straight-six engine, which powers the G80 M3 and G82 M4.