BMW is rapidly expanding its EV portfolio while adding new PHEV and mild-hybrid models. The second-generation M2 bucks the trend by featuring a pure gasoline engine, but it also signals the beginning of the end for pure ICE vehicles. In an interview with CarMag, BMW South Africa CEO Peter van Binsbergen admitted the G87 represents a dying breed.
“That is probably one of the last new models launches that will be fully ICE. The XM is already showing the direction for M in the future which would be hybridization and the i4 M50 was the biggest selling M car from last year and that is fully electric.”
We should make a distinction between “new model launches” and updates to existing products because the M2 is certainly not the last M car to use a gasoline-only setup. The M5 will switch to a plug-in hybrid V8 for its next generation, but the current M3 and M4 will receive a Life Cycle Impulse expected to retain the S58 setup without electrification baked in. The M2 itself has a long life cycle up ahead, and logic tells us BMW will spice up the product with tweaks in the years to come.
Speaking about the all-new M2 on the occasion of Plant Rosslyn’s 50th anniversary, Peter van Binsbergen described it as the “closest thing we have had since Gusheshe in a long time.” If Gusheshe doesn’t ring a bell, it’s the nickname used by the 325iS E30 built in South Africa. The sports sedan was launched in 1990 with a naturally aspirated 2.7-liter engine making 194 hp (145 kW) and 208 hp (155 kW). Both versions had an exclusive body kit, 15-inch wheels, M Sport suspension with Bilstein struts, a limited-slip differential, and other goodies.
Given the direction BMW is taking, the M2 is not only among the last M cars to do away with hybridization but also one of the few remaining BMWs without any sort of electrification. Peter van Binsbergen said enthusiasts mustn’t worry as he believes “electrification is a way to keep high-performance cars future-proof.”