It was hardly a surprise to see a quad exhaust system on the new X2 M35i considering the mechanically related X1 M35i has one as well. The question is – why did BMW decide to adopt a more aggressive setup? After all, four tips have been a staple of full-fat M cars for decades, but now they’re trickling down to M Performance cars.

BMWBLOG spoke with Stefan Floeck, Senior VP MINI & BMW Compact Class, about the reasoning behind the decision to implement quad tips on these two not-quite-M cars: “I would say there is a clear reason: The high performance and the performance cars, there was a wide gap, so we wanted to get to them closer together, so when you drive the next spring the two cars, you will see that the four pipes fit the performance of the car.”

Besides the X1 M35i and X2 M35i, other M Lite cars will benefit from the same quad-pipe treatment in the near future. As early as 2024, BMW will transition the 1 Series to the next generation and will put four exhaust tips on the M135i. By the way, the hot hatch is rumored to drop the “i” from its name, therefore simply becoming the M135. Sources close to Munich have said the next 2 Series Gran Coupe is also coming in 2024, and that one too could be a quad-pipe sports sedan dubbed M235.

We’ve seen from the X1 M35i and X2 M35i that there is a discrepancy in terms of output between Europe and other parts of the world, such as the United States. On the Old Continent, the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine is intentionally dialed down to 296 hp to meet stricter emissions regulations. In the US, you’re getting an uncorked version of the four-cylinder mill, with an extra 16 hp for a total of 312 hp. Regardless of region, torque remains the same, at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm).

It’s too soon to say whether the next M135 and M235i will be detuned in Europe but that seems possible considering the performance hatch and sedan are likely to use the same engine as the two hot crossovers.

As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that it’s not just the quad exhausts that visually bring M Performance models closer to the M cars since BMW is now also putting M badges on the kidney grille of its lesser M cars. In addition, the M-specific side mirror caps are now available for these cheaper sports cars. In the case of the M340i Sedan and M440i Coupe, you can even get a carbon roof. The X1 M35i also gets an M badge on the engine cover.