The 1 Series M Coupe came and went all too quickly. What a special car that was. The 1M was the embodiment of everything that made the M Division so great for all of these years; lightweight (relatively), powerful engine, manual gearbox, limited-slip diff and just a bundle of tail-happy joy. It’s a car that I covet quite desperately. The funny thing about the 1M, though, is that it was kind of an afterthought. BMW made it out of leftovers from other cars in their lineup. Sometimes life is funny that way, where a project made out of scraps can add up to far more than the sum of its parts and become a legend. Well BMW is going to be taking another crack at it, this time, however, BMW is creating this one from scratch and it’s going to be the M2.
The M2, despite having a proper M name and not just 2 Series M, is going to be very similar to the 1M. When the M2 debuts, it will have a turbocharged, I6 engine making somewhere around 360-370 horsepower, a six-speed manual (though I’m sure the 7-Speed DCT will be available) and a limited-slip differential. So the recipe is quite similar to that of the 1M, but the approach will be different as BMW is purpose building the M2 from scratch to be a monster. The 2 Series is already a better, more sorted sports car than the 1 Series, so it already has an advantage over the 1M. Plus, thanks to BMW’s newfound knowledge of lightweight materials and engine technology, it should be quite a bit faster.
I’m guessing that the M2 will come with all of the standard M Division carbon-fiber tech such as carbon-fiber roof, brakes and strut brace. BMW has learned a lot about lightweight materials from the i3 and i8, so expect some of these techniques to make the M2 as light as possible. The goal for BMW is to make it lighter than the M235i (3,505 lbs with a manual) which, after the power bump to 370 horsepower, should make the M2 significantly faster and approaching M3 levels of speed. If the M2 can get close to 3,200 – 3,300 lbs, it will be closing in on E30 M3 weight, but with a much better power to weight ratio.
The M2 is a car BMW needs to make. The M Division has been criticized as of late for their cars being too big, heavy and expensive. The M2 should rectify most, if not all of those problems. All of BMWs competition has a car in this segment. Mercedes has the CLA AMG45, Audi has the S3 and, even though it’s a very different approach, VW has the Golf R. So BMW needs to get a horse into this race so as to steal some market share from its German competition. The M2 shouldn’t have a problem wiping the floor with those aforementioned cars, anyway, as it’s the only car of the bunch to be rear-wheel drive and have a true sports car recipe.
The M2 will also appeal to a younger audience, something BMW is trying desperately to do. Audis are all the craze with young folk these days, because we all have ADD and like their headlights. So BMW needs to make the M2 look aggressive and sporty to pull the Ritalin-addicted youth away from the four, shiny rings. With aggressive pricing, a younger professional crowd may be able to afford a high-performance M car. As a younger man, myself, I’m desperately looking forward to the debut of the M2. It’s full of promise of an M car that harkens back to the old days of M, when small, lightweight cars were their expertise.