BMW is slowly breaking the norm (and a couple of hearts in the process) by shifting its focus to front-wheel drive architecture for vehicles which could, according to the company, lose the FR (front engine rear wheel drive) configuration for something more efficient and less expensive to make. But that shouldn’t really matter because the halo products (or at least the ones focused on out and out driver involvement) aren’t likely to change. One of the is the upcoming M2, which will be based on the 1-/2-Series platform, will sit below the M3/M4 and above the M135i/M235. And like the E36 M3 Compact of the past that was never realised, the 2-door, rear-wheel drive M2 is bound to offer a lot of fun in a small package.
To be made as the successor to the very short-lived (in the market) but hugely respected BMW 1-Series M Coupe, the M2 (or whatever the marketing team in Munich decides to call it) has been making appearances on the Nuburgring Nordschleife race track, which is essentially the proving ground for a lot of cars. In terms of dimensions, since it’s based on the 2er, expect it to be about 4.5m long, a tad under 2m wide, and about 1.4m tall. Compare the dimensions with the E36 Compact of the past and there are a lot of similarities. Unfortunately BMW never launched an M3 Compact based on the E36 3-Series, but that won’t be the case with the M2.
While details about the M2 aren’t plenty, given that the company hasn’t announced anything yet, the rumour-mill concludes that a 3-litre, twin-turbocharged engine will power the car. Power output is expected to be in the vicinity of 365hp while maximum torque could be as much as 500Nm, while an earlier report by Autocar suggests that it won’t be the same unit as the M3/M4. An overboost function (extra torque on demand, much like the 1-Series M Coupe, a mechanical differential, an uprated braking system, an all-black interior, quad exhausts, and of course 2-door coupe styling will be part of the package.
The E36 Compact featured the rear suspension geometry of the E30 3-Series, was shorter than the regular 3-Series of its generation, and featured a slightly different-looking rear end. The one-off E36 M3 Compact that, according to reports, was made by BMW but never put into production was powered by a 3.2-litre inline six petrol engine (naturally aspirated, of course), had the power going to the rear wheels via a six speed gearbox, and apart from the special ‘M’ goodies, also featured quad-tip exhausts. The ‘regular’ E36 was earlier offered with a 3-litre straight six engine, which was later replaced by a 3.2-litre unit – the one in the M3 Compact ‘Concept’ and marketed as M3 Evo in the UK.
There’s of course a difference between the way power is delivered in naturally aspirated engine and a turbocharged one, and the amount of electronic nannies in the M2 will be larger. The good part is, as with other BMWs, they can be turned off, not just to satiate the 'hoonigan' in your but also the track-lover. And even the Nordschleife expert.
The launch date and other details aren’t announced yet, but the M2 has made yet another appearance at the ‘ring. Enjoy the slightly wide-body 2-door coupe tackle the bumps, corners, and even the Karussell effortlessly.
BMW M3 Compact photo courtesy Auto Motor und Sport via BMWBlog