A disappointing choice of name, BMW.
Currently, BMW has many M badged offerings in their sport utility line of cars, from the M Performance X1 M35i all the way up to the full-fledged X5 and X6 M Competition. The ‘half-M’ (as we like to call it) M Performance models feature high-powered turbo engines and parts fitted to the standard car, whilst ‘full-M’ cars are designed and engineered in-house by BMW’s M division, only drawing visual cues from standard model.
BMW doesn’t offer an X2 M, but for enthusiastic customers of the small crossover who value a bit of performance, your best bet is the X2 M35i which boasts a 225kW (302hp) turbo four cylinder engine, eight-speed paddle-shift gearbox and upgraded performance parts. All-wheel drive rockets the CUV up to 100km/h from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds, which makes it well deserving of the M Performance name.
What if we told you that a day prior to writing, BMW released a special edition of the X2 crossover called the X2 M Mesh Edition? We actually thought this was a surprise launch edition of a whole new full-fledged M car, but that excitement was rather short-lived.
Featuring a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the X2 M Mesh Edition pumps out 141kW (189 hp) of power and 280Nm of torque, sending the power to the front-wheels through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. This results in a 0-100km/h acceleration in 7.7 seconds – significantly slower than the M35i.
For those who haven’t figured it out, the M Mesh Edition isn’t anywhere near an M car. It’s just a special edition of the X2 sDrive 20i – misleading and confusing, right?
The M Mesh Edition is differentiated from the regular 20i with a variety of visual distictions, most evidently a black mesh kidney grille which BMW describes as ‘race-inspired’. We think it looks more like an enlarged version of the mesh found on a cardiod dynamic microphone, but we’ll leave that up for debate.
Exclusive exterior paints are offered including Alpine White, Phytonic Blue metallic, Sunset Orange metallic. These come with black decals – so if you want the orange decals pictured, you’ll have to opt for Brooklyn Grey metallic or Sapphire Black metallic. Additionally, these decal colours flow to match the inserts of the ‘M aerodynamic’ wheels.
Along with unique paints and racing stripes, the M Mesh Edition is packed with mocha-like signature trim dubbed Frozen Black-Brown metallic, which you’ll find on plastic bumper inserts, side skirts, wheel arches and doors.
A first on the X2, BMW’s Shadow Line package is available and standard on the Mesh Edition, with a high-gloss Piano Black window surrounds, exterior mirror surrounds, B-pillar trim, C-pillar trim surrounds, exhaust tip finishers, and of course the uniquely styled ‘M mesh kidney grille’.
The inside is styled for class, contrasting the fun exterior with mocha coloured Dakota leather interior trim. BMW has been fixated on orange stitching for this model, which has been used on the ‘M sport seats’, centre console, instrument panel and even floor mats. The seats themselves blend well with an alcantara upper-section.
The two-tone interior is complemented with Aliminium Hexagon Anthrite strips; and exclusive LED door lights connected by fibre-optics add a touch of vibrance to the darker footwell of the car.
Prices will be revealed closer to its 2021 launch, however judging by BMW Group’s recent high-priced $70,000 AUD MINI JCW Nightfall Edition and the near-$60,000 AUD Cooper S Rosewood Edition, we have a slight feeling that this M Mesh Edition isn’t going to be cheap. Again, we don’t have confirmation of that yet.
We’d like to iterate that BMW hasn’t totally strayed adrift as there is no M badge stuck on the back, however, we think there’s something a bit disappointing about putting X2 and M together during the naming process – because unlike M Performance and M cars, this name really doesn’t live up to its performance.
It’s a half-baked marketing trick, BMW.