BY JENS MEINERS
What It Is:
The M version of the upcoming BMW 2-series coupe and thus the successor of the immensely good 1-series M coupe. Unlike its predecessor—which was rushed through development in record time, known internally as Project Pyrat—the 2015 M2 will undergo a longer gestation, allowing BMW to come up with a more polished package. Look for aggressive restyling, strongly differentiated from the M135i that’s available in overseas markets. The M2 will feature a unique front-end treatment, large air intakes, a wider track and wider rear fenders, as well as a rear spoiler and four exhaust finishers. The expected change in nomenclature from 1-series coupe to 2-series would fall in line with the rest of BMW’s offerings, recently adopted by the separation of the 3-series sedan and the 4-series coupe. Moreover, it allows BMW to give it a traditional M name. With the history of the M1 mid-engined supercar, the previous-gen 1-series M received a rather clunky title; M2 would work quite nicely. The M2 will be available only in coupe form; there are no plans for another body style.
Why It Matters:
As a powerful rear-wheel-drive compact coupe with a manual transmission, the M2 is set to hit all the right buttons. Not only will it be the successor to the much-loved 1-series M, it would be the spiritual heir to the 2002 Turbo of so many years ago. That lineage proved fruitful for BMW, with the Bavarians selling more than 6300 1-series Ms in its single-model-year run. Expect BMW to take advantage of the market’s demand for this sort of vehicle, with volume double that of the 1M’s—so long as the M2’s pricing isn’t absurd, that is. "This car excites everyone around here," we hear from a source at M GmbH.
The M2 will use BMW's proven compact rear-wheel-drive platform, shared with the current 1-series and similar to that of the 3-series. An all-wheel-drive version of the M2 is possible in theory, but don’t expect one. This platform also means strong potential for cutting-edge telematics and connectivity.
Power likely will come from an upgraded version of BMW's twin-turbo N54 3.0-liter straight-six; an extra-powerful single-turbo N55 3.0-liter straight-six also is a possibility. Figure on output of around 360 hp, rivaling the upcoming Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG. Whichever six-cylinder BMW decides on, it will be mated to a six-speed manual, with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as a possible option. Top speed will be governed at 155 mph, but theoretical top speed will be around 180 mph. The 0-to-60 sprint, we’re told, should take around 4.5 seconds.
Audi RS3, Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG, Volkswagen Golf R.
While the standard 2-series will be launched in early 2014, the M2 won't appear until later that year or early 2015.
They took a F20 1 series hatchback and chopped some existing M model parts onto it for this render. But the 2 series spy pics
already look different - especially the front end: