In the last few years, BMW has invested heavily in their front-wheel drive architecture which now underpins cars like the 2 Series Active and Gran Tourers, the X1 and the recently unveiled X2. More models are planned on the platform, including the upcoming 1 Series hatchback and 2 Series Gran Coupe, including some M Performance variants, like the X2 M35i and M135i.
But so far, the M bosses in Garching have been quiet on the topic of a top M model using its front wheels to move forward. The idea of a non-RWD M car is definitely not a popular topic in the vocal BMW community, so that has to cause some interesting conversations within the HQ in Germany. Many believe that the typical M-feel will be lost, along with the brand’s heritage.
Frank Van Meel, M CEO, agrees in a conversation with CarAdvice.
“That challenge is the biggest challenge, because we want to have a typical M feeling which goes more naturally with rear-wheel drive,” he said, when we talked to him at the launch of the M2 and M5 Competition in Spain this week.
“If you want to do that with front-wheel drive, I think that’s the biggest challenge you can have.”
Van Meel says that the M Division is still interested in that segment, but a better suited model would be one from the M Performance Automobile sub-division.
“The segment is big for us and of course it’s very attractive, it’s the entry-level segment to M,” he said, “the question is what kind of M and which cars of that segment would fit.”
So for now, the full-fledged M models are being exempt from the front-wheel drive treatment.