It was nearly three years ago when BMW promised to retain the rear-wheel-drive layout of the 2 Series for the coupe’s next generation. While that’s certainly good to hear, it creates a bit of confusion in the company’s lineup considering the next-generation 2 Series Active Tourer will once again be FWD-based, much like the recently launched 2 Series Gran Coupe. A new report published by Autocar aims to shed some light on the company’s compact car lineup, particularly on the performance versions.
The crown jewel in BMW’s small car family will once again be the M2 carrying the “G87” codename and tipped to use a detuned version of the engine powering the X3 M and X4 M as well as the forthcoming M3 and M4. The “S58” twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six is said to have at least 420 horsepower and 406 pound-feet (550 Newton-meters) of torque to provide a level of performance similar to today’s car despite a weight increase caused by the larger footprint. It should do the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) run in the low four-second range and max out at nearly 175 mph (282 km/h).
Much like the Z4 roadster and the Toyota Supra coupe, the M2 will use BMW’s CLAR platform and that could unlock the possibility of a mild-hybrid setup further down the line. Customers will get to pick from either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission sending power exclusively to the rear axle as xDrive is not planned.
Autocar claims BMW plans to have the new M2 on sale in the U.K. sometime in 2022 when the rest of Europe should get it as well, with the U.S. likely not far behind. It’ll allegedly have a seven-year life, so if electrification is indeed on the agenda, a mild-hybrid M2 could be out for the mid-cycle update programmed for around 2025 or 2026.
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Even though it was only a few months ago when BMW ruled out full-fat M versions of models based on a front-wheel-drive platform, the new report claims the Bavarians are planning an M2 Gran Coupe. It’s said to boast an xDrive layout and have around 400 horsepower to take on the next-generation Audi RS3 Sedan. That would represent a healthy power boost over the 301-hp M235i Gran Coupe and enough punch to take on the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45.
A similar hardware arrangement is allegedly planned for a hotter 1 Series positioned above the M135i to compete with the upcoming Audi RS3 Sportback and the Mercedes-AMG A45 / A45 S. The name of the hatchback is not known, but chances are BMW will stay away from using “M1” and “1M” since those two are deemed by hardcore fans as being too valuable to be used on a car that has front-wheel-drive origins.